Four members of the Democratic Alliance (DA) in Transkei, Eastern Cape, have defected to the newly-formed African Transformation Movement (ATM).

They’d served as councillors in the Matatiele, Mnquma, Nyandeni and Mhlontlo local municipalities and were welcomed to the party at Zimbane Valley in Mthatha.

The councillors cite the DA’s disregard for party members from Transkei and a change in the values of the DA as reasons.

Councillor Zama Bomela says that they have no home in the DA as members of Transkei.

“There’s no home for us in the DA if you are a member from Transkei. DA is the organisation for DASO members and the former COPE members. For example now, there are no candidates from former Transkei in these coming elections. All the candidates are from former Ciskei, PE guys, DASO members, former COPE members. We are here as a tool just to vote for the DA.”

Councillor Tholang Molefe says that requests to have pamphlets written in Sesotho have been ignored.

“I’ve raised it on several platforms, the issue of having material like pamphlets or posters written in Sesotho as well. Compared to the Metros, in the former Transkei we struggled to get resources.”

DA leader in the Eastern Cape, Nqaba Banga, has described their defection as good riddance. However, he has refuted allegations of the party disregarding members from the Transkei.

“We wish them success where they’re going. The DA continues to grow as a party. We’ve won a ward in Walter Sisulu in the former Transkei. We continue to grow. Our polling tells us we’re growing. I’ve seen the list. It’s not so what they’re saying. We have Mrs Mbiko right now who has then been made a member of Parliament from Butterworth. We have Sanele Magaqa from the Pondoland. There are many people. We are about to take over the Eastern Cape and people must watch out. When we’re done, Mmusi Maimane will be a President and Nqaba Banga will be a Premier in the Eastern Cape.”