DA celebrates winning 4th ward from ANC
Durban - The DA was celebrating on Thursday after winning a fourth ward from the ANC since last year’s local government elections.
"The victory in ward 20, Polokwane, is significant," Democratic Alliance leader Helen Zille's spokesperson Pierre-Charl du Preez said.
"The DA's share of the vote in this ward grew from 31.19% in 2009, to 41.07% in 2011 and to 62.87% in yesterday's [Wednesday's] election."
The ANC won five of seven by-elections held in KwaZulu-Natal, Gauteng, the Free State and Limpopo on Wednesday. The other ward it lost was to the Inkatha Freedom Party in Ulundi, KwaZulu-Natal.
Du Preez said the DA had shown "significant gains in support" in wards 28 and 80 in Tshwane, losing the previously "safe" ANC seat in ward 80 by just nine votes.
While the DA received 27.67% of the vote in the ward during last year’s elections, it got 48.76% in the by-election on Wednesday, he said.
‘Sweet victory’ for IFP
Inkatha Freedom Party spokesperson Sbu Nkwanyana said the seat it retained in Ulundi had been strongly contested by both the ANC and the National Freedom Party.
The seat became a vacant ward when IFP councillor Muzi Ndwandwe died under mysterious circumstances. He disappeared one night and his body was found near a dam, with some of his body parts missing.
Nkwanyana said the election results showed the IFP, with its limited resources, could defeat the "ANC and the NFP combined".
The NFP and ANC formed coalitions in nearly 20 municipalities where there was no outright majority after the last local government elections.
"It certainly is a sweet victory considering all the resources and time that both the NFP and the ANC invested in this ward," said Nkwanyana.
The new councillor was Sindisiwe Khumalo, he said.