What is your political background? I joined politics formally in 1983 due to the conditions of the time. All black people were compelled in those days to participate in any and all political forums and organisations to liberate ourselves from the exploitation. In 1984 I went into exile were I joined the uMkhonto we Sizwe (MK) military wing of the ANC in Angola. I returned to South Africa in 1990 as part of the first contingent for reintegration. I was mainly involved with security matters of the ANC from 1990 onward and in 1993 the ANC directed most of us to establish the South African National Peace keeping force where I was assigned as a Lieutenant until 1994 when the peace keeping force was demobilised. We were then integrated into the South African National Defense Force (SANDF). I was with SANDF until 1998 when I left to concentrate on political work which I had been assigned by the ANC in my then constituency at Witbank, Mpumalanga. In 2000 I was elected as a ward councillor and served until 2005 when I was elected as a provincial chairperson of the MK Military Veterans Association (MKVA). The municipality had employed me from 2005 on security matters and to ensure that some of the retired, unemployed and demobilised military veterans could then be absorbed within the Witbank municipality security cluster.
In 2009 the municipality employed me as part their staffs complement in the electricity department within revenue collection of that department. A proposal that I had submitted was to retrain the military veterans on revenue collection for the electricity department at Witbank.
In 2012 the ANC reassigned me to establish VIP protection for mayors at Emakhazeni, Thembisile Hani and Emalahleni municipalities in Mpumalanga. The formalisation of those VIP services became known as public order policing at local government at Nkangala district. Within the same year I was recalled and deployed to Parliament by the ANC.
What does your job as an MP entail? A key mandate for us as MPs is to sharpen legislation and that whatever law is signed in parliament reflects the position of the ANC. I am assigned to more than four committees in the National Council of Provinces (NCOP) where I am a permanent delegate representing Mpumalanga. I am assigned to the Security and Justice, Petitions and Executive Undertakings, Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs select committees and the Joint Committee on Constitutional Review.
What is your impression of the Fifth Parliament? In comparison to the Fourth Parliament, the Fifth Parliament has a big gap in that forces like the, lacked the political maturity to lobby each other on political ideology without howling at each other during joint sittings of the Houses of Parliament. At the NCOP Chamber Bills were passed in a much calmer tone compared to the joint sittings.
What constituency area have you been assigned to you by your party? What is most interesting about your constituency work so far? My constituency is in Middleburg in the Steve Tshwete Municipality. Most interesting about constituency work is being able to interact with the communities and to assist in the resolution of their challenges. However, the single constituency day per week is not enough to deal with the problems of constituents. Issues like land claims, which my PCO had to assist in directing people to the relevant institutions, were not a short term issue.
What are you most passionate about? This applies both in a political/professional arena as well as personally? Politics is my overriding passion as I have been conscientised from a young age.
What would your message to South Africa be? Enemies of the liberation struggle had used black on black violence as a strategy. Today that is exactly what is happening if you look at the Houses of Parliament. When the ANC or the EFF want to speak there is noise, but when the DA speaks everyone pays attention. South Africans must always be cognizant of this. We also must engage on a larger platform on whether the multiparty or polling or majority rule as a voting system is the best choice for South Africa because today we are challenged as country because of the current voting system.
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