Who is PMB’s Deidre Carter?

2008-12-16 00:00

Deidre Carter, a Pietermaritzburg woman with no previous political involvement, was yesterday elected to one of the top leadership positions in the Congress of the People (Cope). She is the deputy secretary-general of the party.

Carter, a mother of two boys and two girls aged 18, 17, 16 and 10, runs a consultancy business in the city with her husband Roger Ferguson.

She spoke to The Witness about her involvement in South Africa’s newest political party and how she feels about her appointment. Cope claims 10 000 members in KZN and according to delegates from the province, Carter has been one of the forces behind the party’s recruitment drive.

Carter said she is an ordinary mother who for some time has been concerned about many issues in the country — and the future of her children.

“When I read about the National Convention in November, I went behind my husband’s back and registered for us to go. On the Thursday before, he said to me, ‘I’m sorry we did not register, this seems to be the place to be’. I told him we were going.”

She said the convention was inspirational and felt she belonged because everyone was made to feel so welcome.

Back in Pietermaritzburg, Carter put an administration system together to make the idea of a new party possible. She began recruiting members and said she received responses from people all over the province from Kokstad, Port Shepstone and the midlands to places like Newcastle and Ladysmith.

Carter still cannot believe that she ended up being in the party leadership. “I got an SMS on Monday to say Deidre had been nominated, I thought it was someone else with the same name.”

The new deputy secretary-general believes that with what Cope has achieved since November, the sky’s the limit and anything is possible.

She says being a member of the party gives her hope, makes her feel an integral party of South Africa and that she can contribute to change.

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