I never left ANC, says UF defector Lungile Mxube

THE Eastern Cape convener of the United Front (UF), Lungile Mxube, has defected back to the ANC.

Mxube said yesterday he had never deserted the ANC and only joined the UF because he did not know it was a political formation intending to contest elections.

Mxube said when he was approached to lead the UF in 2014, he thought it would be a community-based coordinating structure – not a party that would go to the polls.

As the convener, Mxube – a former adviser to then Nelson Mandela Bay mayor Zanoxolo Wayile – was tasked with building the UF in the province before a new structure was elected in June last year.

When the UF burst onto the scene in November 2014, the party made its intentions known that it would contest this year’s municipal elections, specifically targeting metros like the Bay.

Mxube said he had withdrawn himself from the UF last year already, because of his “busy schedule”.

“When I was approached to lead the UF in the Eastern Cape, I agreed because the UF, from what I knew, was not a political formation but a community-based coordinating structure which was anti-capitalism, anti-corruption, anti-imperialism and anti-xenophobia.

“It never adopted an antiANC stance or adopted an oppositionist posture both in its character, outlook and pronouncements on a range of issues,” he said.

Mxube, a former ANC and SACP regional leader in the Sarah Baartman region, insisted he had never left the ANC or the UF for possible deployment.

“My blood is black, green and gold [ANC colours] and my consciousness is red [SACP colour] and I intend to remain like that. I have always been an ANC member,” he said..

“I’m an ordinary member of my branch [Ward 4 in Makana] with no leadership ambitions or deployment now or in the near future.”

Asked what he meant by the near future, Mxube said: “That means if there is an opportunity to go to the National Assembly [as an MP] in 2019, I’ll still decline.”

Mxube said he had not availed himself for a leadership position in the UF when it went to its provincial assembly in June.

UF provincial secretary Pedro Tshikane said he was not aware of Mxube parting ways with the movement.

“That is news. As far as I know, we are still working with him. During the xenophobic attacks [in Makana in October], he was the one who was speaking to the media for us,” Tshikane said.

“As far as I know, he is still a United Front member. I have not received anything stating otherwise.”

He said the UF was not a political party, but would still contest the polls in different regions, like Nelson Mandela Bay.

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