‘Khanyile fired in pre-emptive move to save face after he resigned’

The Patriotic Alliance (PA) has expelled its KwaZulu-Natal premier candidate and youth league president Bonginkosi Khanyile following his appearance at a political rally alongside former president Jacob Zuma.

Khanyile’s presence at the uMkhonto weSizwe (MK Party) rally in Verulam, a town 24km north of Durban on Tuesday, raised eyebrows and attracted widespread attention on social media.

Many netizens speculated that his appearance alongside Zuma pointed to a looming departure from the PA to join the party highly endorsed by the former president.

However, Khanyile swiftly issued an apology statement in an attempt to clarify the situation.

He later posted a video on social media reaffirming his unwavering support for Zuma while dismissing claims of his departure from the PA.

According to Khanyile, his sole intention in attending the MK Party rally was to reconnect with Zuma.

Despite his efforts to make amends, the PA leadership deemed Khanyile’s actions unacceptable.

The party emphasised that any leader’s participation in events should be done in consultation with the party’s top brass.

The PA also expressed concern that Khanyile’s attendance at the rally, particularly with PA supporters in tow, suggested an unauthorised endorsement of another political entity, potentially damaging the PA’s reputation.

“Khanyile’s appearance was used by PA detractors to suggest that the PA is affiliated with MK in some way and that Khanyile was endorsing the party, particularly because Khanyile was accompanied to the event by PA supporters wearing our party’s regalia,” the party said in a statement on Wednesday evening.

“Khanyile’s actions have brought both himself and the party into disrepute in a manner that unfortunately requires the firmest and most decisive response.”

Khanyile’s political future remains uncertain, as he previously indicated that he would not comment on political matters until the end of the holidays.

Speaking to Sunday World on Wednesday, he stated: “I am currently enjoying Christmas at home [and] I cannot comment on the matter or anything else politically.

“I will provide clarity on this matter in January when the holidays have concluded.”

However, sources close to Sunday World have revealed that his expulsion was a pre-emptive move by the PA to save face after Khanyile had notified the party of his intention to jump ship.

Allegedly Khanyile was forced to issue a statement apologising. He later informed party leadership of his intention to resign, prompting the party’s decision to expel him.

In a leaked voice message, Khanyile can be heard saying: “My leaders, after we have been able to circulate my letter of apology, I was able to be in contact with president Zuma and from our discussion, I have taken a decision that I am resigning from the party [PA] and very soon I will be joining the MK.

“I called president Gayton McKenzie [PA leader] and I could not get hold of him on his usual number.

“He must know that before the press goes live at 8 o’clock, he must know that I have left the party officially.”

In his response, McKenzie stated: “Imagine us sitting in hearings while our political opponents are busy campaigning; we don’t play marbles.

“We don’t have dual membership rubbish at the Patriotic Alliance. When the snake of confusion appears, we cut the head immediately and swiftly.”

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