The worst kept political secret of the past week it out.
Former DA federal chairperson and Nelson Mandela Bay mayor Athol Trollip has officially joined ActionSA, becoming the latest high-profile DA member to join Herman Mashaba’s party.
The announcement was made a short while ago during a press conference at the Radisson Blu Hotel Port Elizabeth in Gqeberha.
Mashaba, ActionSA president and national chairperson Michael Beaumont travelled to the Eastern Cape to welcome Trollip to the party.
Mashaba said Trollip’s membership forms part of a critical component of ActionSA’s development and the deepening of its leadership pool.
Two weeks ago, the party revealed former DA Midvaal mayor Bongani Baloyi as a new addition.
Trollip’s membership was the worst kept secret as social media was abuzz after ActionSA announced that it would reveal its latest high-profile member on Wednesday.
Mashaba threw in a little gift for those who could guess the name of its latest member.
“I am giving away 20 custom-made ActionSA T-shirts to the first 20 people that can guess who is joining ActionSA on Wednesday, and what province do they come from? The shirt will include your name on the back,” he said.
Some of the other names being thrown around were those of Mmusi Maimane, Mbali Ntuli and Phumzile Van Damme. Trollip was the name most guessed.
Trollip left the opposition party in 2019 shortly after leader Mmusi Maimane resigned.
Mashaba followed suit a few days later, marking a key exodus from the opposition party.
Trollip served as the DA’s federal chairperson from 2015 to 2019 and the executive mayor of the Nelson Mandela Bay Metropolitan Municipality.
In 2016, Trollip was referred to the South African Human Rights Commission (HRC) for alleged human rights abuses and unfair labour practices on the family farm near Bedford in the Eastern Cape, allegations that he strenuously denied. The HRC later abandoned the case, citing the difficulty of investigating events alleged to have happened between the 1970s and 2000s, and that the incidents happened before the current, constitutional dispensation and involved “issues of pre-jurisdiction”.
The senior politician was born in Bedford in 1964.
He comes from a family involved in politics through the years. Both his father and grandfather were actively involved in politics.
His grandfather was a member of Parliament for the United Party, and his father was a candidate for the Provincial Council for the PFP and served on the Smaldeel District Council. – IOL