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Good riddance, says DA over defectors

2014-02-06 22:37
(File, Sapa)
Johannesburg - The Democratic Alliance said on Thursday the Gauteng councillors who defected to the ANC were no loss to the opposition, adding that they were "opportunistic". 

"We've seen that colour is very important [in the DA]," Sam Moimane, one of defectors, told reporters in Johannesburg.

He claimed there were "symptoms of apartheid" in the opposition party.

Moimane and City of Tshwane DA councillor Sello Maila were welcomed into the African National Congress by Gauteng secretary David Makhura at the party's provincial office in Johannesburg.

"I've never experienced apartheid, but when I came into the DA... we find the symptoms of apartheid in the DA."

Moimane said he'd joined the DA in 2000.

DA Gauteng leader John Moodey said the two councillors weren't performing as expected and they were coming under pressure," he said.

"We don't see this as a loss for the DA."

Moodey questioned what the ANC had offered Moimane and Maila to defect. He also denied Moimane's claims that there were "symptoms of apartheid" in the opposition party.

"If they believe the party was racist... why did they remain in the party for as long as they have?"

DA Gauteng North regional chairperson Solly Msimanga said Moimane and Maila never handed in letters of resignation, but the defection came as no surprise.

Government in waiting

"The DA is positioning itself as the government in waiting for the Tshwane municipality after elections in 2016 and this cannot be achieved with public representatives who are unprincipled and not willing to deliver services to Pretoria residents," he said echoing Moodey's sentiments about the councillors' performance.

"The DA will not be held to ransom by individuals who think that they will get away with non-delivery and opportunism."

In welcoming the pair to the ANC Makhura said: "Welcome to the home of those who want to transform South Africa," he told the two.

Moimane said he had raised issues within party structures but they were never addressed.

"Whatever we are pushing at the ground level is not what they are pushing at the national level. That is why Helen [Zille] didn't even bother to tell us that she's bringing [Mamphela] Ramphele in."

He said DA leader Helen Zille's announcement last week that Agang SA founder Mamphela Ramphele would be the party's presidential candidate was "offending" and was not discussed with party members.

He said Ramphele was introduced as the presidential candidate because she was black.

Moodey said Moimane's claims about Ramphele had no grounds, as the DA had been negotiating with her since 2010, with the blessing of the party.

"I believe he's being opportunistic."

Maila said he was excited to join the ANC and start working as a volunteer.

"We have to make our children and children's children aware of what the ANC did."

Makhura said the two would get "political education".

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- SAPA
Read more on: agang sa  |  da  |  anc  |  helen zille  |  mamphela ramphele  |  johannesburg  |  politics  |  elections 2014

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