Helen Zille loses bragging rights in Limpopo

2013-10-27 06:00

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DA leader Helen Zille’s plan to parade ­traditional leaders in Limpopo who had joined her party hit a brick wall after two rival groups of chiefs couldn’t see eye to eye about the event.

But the DA attracted a good crowd in Buffelshoek village in the Bochum area, which is also the birthplace of Mamphela Ramphele, the leader of Agang SA.

Zille said she had decided not to ­proceed with what was going to be the introduction of at least 30 traditional leaders who will be joining her party after realising there were “some complex issues” at play in the community and within the traditional leadership. It was, however, an individual’s democratic right to join a political party of their choice, she said.

Following a two-hour delay, the Western Cape premier went on to address about 2 000 people who had packed a huge marquee.

Zille said her party was not looking back after winning their first by-election in rural Limpopo – in Makhado’s Ward 5 – last week.

She said her party, which would not only fight to retain the Western Cape in next year’s elections but try to take over Gauteng, had now set its sights on the fiercely contested Limpopo as well.

Ramphele and Economic Freedom Fighters leader Julius Malema, who are both from Limpopo, were also hoping to rake in votes from their home province.

President Jacob Zuma said last month that the ANC, which had always seen a significant number of its votes coming from Limpopo, would not allow that to change.

The DA’s confidence seems to be bolstered by its recent victory in Makhado where it won a ward after it had previously only managed to get 1.5% of votes in the ward during the last local government elections.

Zille said: “Makhado was like the first flower and first green shoot of the spring, which will be pollinated by the bees. DA supporters will pollinate it and next year we’ll have a big fruit in Limpopo.”

She then urged the people of Limpopo not to vote the ANC back into power ­because the governing party did not care much about them.

Zille also said she was on her toes at all times because she knew she owed it to her voters to deliver or risk being voted out.

She said the ANC was relaxed because they knew they will still be voted back into government even if they do not provide any service delivery.

“I have a very small margin of votes and I may be voted out if I don’t deliver. Those with big margins know that they can continue stealing your money and do nothing for you and will still get voted in,” said Zille.

“Leaders should be frightened of you and not the other way round. I am frightened of you because if I don’t deliver you will vote me out.”

Zille said Cape Town has been in the news for delivering services to the people.

She made no mention of the service-delivery protests in her province.

Zille asked the communities to use their powerful weapon, their votes, correctly by voting the “bad people” out.

“I say to people that you don’t change government by toyi-toying (where) people vote for a party on Wednesday and toyi-toyi against the same party on Friday. You change them with your vote,” she said.

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