Joining DA was not difficult - Former ANC premier

The ANC reacts to Nosimo Balindlela joining the DA.

Former COPE MP Nomiso Balindlela announces her decision to join the Democratic Alliance on 13 November, 2012. She is pictured with DA leader Helen Zille. Picture: Rahima Essop/EWN.

CAPE TOWN - The African National Congress (ANC) on Tuesday reacted to news that Nosimo Balindlela joined the Democratic Alliance (DA), by calling her the least effective premier in the Eastern Cape and a political liability.

Balindlela was relieved of her position as Eastern Cape Premier in 2008 and later joined the Congress of the People (COPE).

It was the same year that President Thabo Mbeki was recalled by the ruling party.

She resigned as a COPE member of Parliament on Tuesday morning.

The ANC distanced itself from Balindlela.

It said it is misleading to associate her with the ANC because she has not been a member since 2008.

Balindlela herself has been critical of the ruling party.

"It has also failed to alleviate poverty and we all know that the inequalities are so glaring," she said.

DA leader Helen Zille said Balindlela did her best to deal with corruption while in the ANC's fold.

"Eventually she was shipwrecked in the conflict between the supporters of Thabo Mbeki and Jacob Zuma."

Zille described Balindlela as a person of integrity, who will take the country forward.


Balindlela said joining the DA was not a difficult decision to make.

"I am very happy that I have taken this decision. I would like the members of the media to know that it was not a difficult decision to make."

Meanwhile, COPE's acting Chief Whip Dennis Bloem said that while he was surprised to hear about her resignation, Balindlela had the right to join any political party.

Bloem said, while the she was committed to COPE, she displayed weaknesses as an MP.

"[She displayed] weaknesses in understanding what was going on in meetings and her attendance in the committee meetings was also a weakness."

However, COPE has wished Balindlela well.