By Anthony Benadie MPL, Leader of the Official Opposition – Mpumalanga Provincial Legislature:
I regret to announce today my resignation as a DA Member of the Mpumalanga Provincial Legislature. I further regret to announce that I will not take up a seat in Parliament.
My decision follows the declared intention by the Mpumalanga Provincial Leader James Masango MP, to serve in the Mpumalanga Provincial Legislature. As consequence I would be requested to serve in the National Assembly in Parliament.
I have had to consider this proposition very carefully as a move to the National Assembly would have far reaching personal implications for my family and I.
I have spent the past months thinking intensely about this situation and after deep introspection, thorough consideration and hours of discussions with my family I have decided not to take up my seat in the National Assembly at this stage.
While I remain absolutely committed to the DA project and our desire to make Vision 2029 a reality I have had to decide between Parliament and my family. My decision is one taken in the interest of my wife and son. I have decided to place the interest of my family first. At this stage of my life I don’t believe the lifestyle and routine of a Member of Parliament will be conducive to our family. It is for this reason that I have never applied to be a Member of Parliament and would prefer to serve as a member of the Provincial Legislature. While serving in Parliament is an honor bestowed on few, and while I am grateful for the opportunity afforded to me, I made a commitment to myself and my family that I would not seek election to Parliament while my son is still at such a young age and that I would seek such election at a time that better suites my family.
However I also understand and accept the desire and intention of the Provincial Leader to return to the Provincial Legislature and I have no desire to hamper his intentions. In the interest of the DA and to assist in achieving progress in this matter, I will therefore step down as a member of the Provincial Legislature with immediate effect.
My decision will assist in creating a vacancy and pave the way for the Provincial Leader to return and serve in the Provincial Legislature. I have submitted a proposal to the Federal and Provincial Leadership that would allow me to continue contributing to the DA’s cause, albeit in a different capacity. I am sure their decision will be communicated to me in due course.
Taking this decision has not been easy. I wish to thank the DA, the party leadership, the legislature as an institution and every colleague with whom I have worked with over the past 15 years, for the confidence they have had in me. I am honored to have served in the Provincial Legislature since 2004 and express my gratitude to the people of our province and the DA for affording me with the unbelievable opportunity of serving our party and country, which I will continue to do. I am truly humbled.