Former ANC E. Cape premier set to join DA from Cope today

2012-11-13 00:00

FORMER Eastern Cape premier Nosimo Balindlela is expected to be unveiled as the newest high-profile member of the Democratic Alliance, in Parliament in Cape Town today.

Although DA national spokesperson Mmusi Maimane declined to confirm Balindlela as the latest recruit, The Witness can reveal that the former ANC premier will be welcomed by DA party leader Helen Zille to the party’s rank.

Balindlela is currently an MP and member of the national executive committee (NEC) of the Congress of the People (Cope).

“Her joining of the DA will shock so many people. It will not necessarily affect the ANC, but Cope will be negatively affected,” said a DA member, who is not authorised to speak to the media. The party insider said Balindlela was frustrated in Cope and was prepared to lose her parliamentary seat, and added, “She will be deployed to the Eastern Cape in one of the constituencies, but it will not be in the legislature.”

Balindlela could not be reached for comment.

Contacted for comment, Maimane said: “I can’t tell you who it is. Wait for the press conference.”

However, he said: “There are more senior leaders who recognise that the DA is the party for the future and make the right decision.”

Balindlela was sacked as ANC premier, along with her then Western Cape counterpart Ebrahim Rasool, in July 2008.

After resigning from the ANC in November 2008, she joined Cope with others who were perceived to be loyalists of former president Thabo Mbeki.

• mayibongwe.maqhina@witness.co.za

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