DA announces new team in the KZN Legislature

Sizwe Mchunu, MPL

Leader of the DA in the KwaZulu-Natal Legislature

As the new official opposition in the KwaZulu-Natal Legislature – with a record 10 seats and an additional representative on the National Council of Provinces (NCOP) – the Members of the Democratic Alliance Caucus are ready to tackle the most important issues.

The new team is a diverse mix that is set to bring experience, skill and youthful enthusiasm to the KZN Legislature.  The DA is pleased to announce the following appointments:

Leader of the DA in the KZN Legislature – Sizwe Mchunu, MPL

Mchunu returns to the Legislature for a second term as Leader, having been re-elected unopposed.  He is also the current Provincial Leader of the DA in KwaZulu-Natal.

In 2009 he was elected a Member of the KwaZulu-Natal Legislature and in 2011 became DA KZN Legislature and DA Provincial Leader.  He has served as a member of both the Community Safety and Office of the Premier provincial portfolio committees.  During the forthcoming term he will serve the DA on the KZN Premier and Royal Household, Scopa and Public Works portfolios.

DA KZN Chief Whip – Mark Steele, MPL

Mark Steele formally entered politics in 2000 and served on the Executive Committee of the Msunduzi council from 2006-2009.  In 2009 he was elected to the National Assembly, serving on parliament’s ‘watchdog’ committee, Scopa.  In 2011 after an internal swap he joined the KZN Legislature, again serving on Scopa.  During the coming term he will serve on KZN’s Scopa, EDT, Stacov and Rules committees.

DA KZN Deputy Chief Whip – George Mari, MPL

George Mari is a highly respected member of this House, having served the KZN Legislature for 20 years.  He has tirelessly championed the rights of the Indian community in this province.  His vast knowledge on local government and housing matters will again be put to excellent use as he picks up these two portfolios.  In addition, he will serve on the KZN Arts and Culture and the Rules Committees.

Mbali Ntuli, DA KZN MPL

Mbali Ntuli is the current National Youth Leader of the Democratic Alliance.  In May 2011 she was elected as an Ethekwini municipality councillor.  She is the youngest Trustee of Centre for Rehabilitation of Wildlife (C.R.O.W) and a businesswoman who has been named one of South Africa’s ‘200 Young People to Watch’ by the Mail and Guardian.  She is an IVLP Alum and has recently been chosen as a Washington Fellow as part of President Obama’s YALI programme.  She will serve the DA on KZN’s Education, PPP, Social Development and Quality of Life portfolio committees.

Francois Rodgers, DA KZN MPL

Francois Rodgers first became a DA Councillor in Kokstad in 1996.  Since then he has served as Chairperson of the Finance, Planning and Development, Audit, Governance, Water Crisis committees as well as on EXCO. In 2011 at the inaugural meeting of ADAC in KZN he was elected Chairperson.  In 2012 he was elected to represent KZN in the National Assembly as Deputy Shadow Minister for Water and Environmental Affairs. He is the current Provincial Deputy Leader of the DA in KwaZulu-Natal.  He comes to the Legislature to serve on the KZN Finance, Premier, Community Safety and Agriculture portfolios.

Hlanganani Gumbi, DA KZN MPL

Hlangani Gumbi’s passion for politics was cemented early on in life.  A Rhodes University graduate, he founded the Democratic Alliance Student Organisation (DASO) at the university and was later elected DA Youth Eastern Cape Provincial Chairperson.  In 2008 he was selected by the DA to be a part of its Young Leaders programme.  At the 2010 DA Federal Youth Congress in Cape Town, he was elected Youth Training and Development Chairperson, placing him on the DA Youth National Management Committee and Federal Youth Executive – the highest decision making body in the DA Youth.   At the age of just 21 he was elected as a Thekwini DA PR Councillor, making him the youngest municipal councillor in South Africa.  Similarly he is also the youngest MPL in the KZN Legislature since the advent of democracy.  He will serve the DA on the KZN Human Settlement, Conservation, Agriculture and Sport and Recreation portfolio committees.

Ann Mc Donnell, DA KZN MPL

Ann Mc Donnell’s passion for politics began in the mid 1970’s when she relocated to KZN’s North Coast.  Her interest in people and service delivery led to her being asked to join the then Umhlali Beach Town Board.  A leader with a track record, she has served on the KwaDukuza municipality Exco almost constantly since 2000.  As such she brings a wealth of experience with her to the provincial legislature and will serve the DA on KZN’s EDT, Transport, Local Government and Conservation portfolios.

Dr Imran Keeka, DA KZN MPL

Imran Keeka was born and raised in Newcastle KwaZulu-Natal.  He studied Medicine overseas, where he graduated Magna Cum Laude in 1997, later furthering his studies in Pakistan before returning to South Africa in 2000 to set up private practice.  In 2011 he was elected to the Newcastle Local Municipal Council as a DA PR councillor, serving on the municipal Public Accounts committee.  In 2012 he was made Chairperson of the Amajuba Constituency, a position to which he was re-elected for the period 2013-2014.  He currently serves on the Executive Committee of the Allied Health Professions Council of South Africa.  He joins the KZN Health, Quality of Life, Finance and PPP legislature portfolio committees on behalf of the DA.

Rafeek Shah, DA KZN MPL

Experienced leader, Rafeek Shah spent some 18 years in political exile in Pakistan, leaving South Africa as a young boy in 1970 to pursue Islamic Studies in Pakistan, where he also received his secondary and tertiary education.  In 1988 he returned to South Africa where he dedicated his energy towards the struggle for freedom and social justice.  His impressive parliamentary career includes serving as a Member of the National Assembly between 2004 and 2009 and again from 2012 to 2014 where he served as Deputy Shadow Minister for Tourism and as a spokesperson on behalf of the DA for Defence, Correctional Services, Environmental Affairs and Tourism and SCOPA.  He is also a former KZN Provincial Deputy Leader.  He is a widely travelled and is a respected orator, having presented keynote addresses on a variety of topics both in and outside of South Africa.  He will serve the DA on KZN’s Transport, Public Works, Arts and Culture and Education portfolio committees.

Dr Rishigen Viranna, DA KZN MPL

Rishigen Viranna was born and raised in KwaZulu-Natal.  He completed his medical degree at the University of Pretoria and went on to serve his medical internship in Durban and his community service at Kimberley Hospital. He began his involvement with the Democratic Alliance in 2010 and is a graduate of the DA Young Leaders Programme and most recently served as Chairman of the DA’s North Durban constituency. His passion lies with health care, in child health and primary health care and he has diplomas in Child Health and Anaesthetics from the Colleges of Medicine, South Africa.  He will represent the DA on the KZN Health and Social Development portfolios.  He will also become a member of the Community Safety and Sport and Recreation committees.

Mergan Chetty, DA KZN MPL

Newly elected KZN Democratic Alliance National Council of Province’s (NCOP) representative, Mergan Chetty, is Pietermaritzburg born and raised.  He is a former public representative who has served on the Exco of the Msunduzi Council.  He has fought for the people and has tirelessly worked to expose maladministration and corruption on behalf of the ratepayers within the community.  He brings with him to the NCOP vast knowledge and experience gained in local government.  He is committed to vigorous oversight on behalf of KZN’s official opposition and to holding the ANC accountable.