DA defector’s message to Zille: ‘Helen, you are late’

2014-02-06 14:54

The election circus in Gauteng got into a higher gear today when the provincial ANC unveiled two Tshwane councillors who had defected from the DA.

Pretoria city centre ward councillor Sam Moimane and Akasia proportional representation councillor Sello Maila swapped their blue T-shirts for the yellow ANC ones, in what they said was their protest against DA leader Helen Zille’s bid to impose Mamphela Ramphele as the DA’s presidential candidate.

Moimane, who described himself as the only black ward councillor in the Tshwane DA’s 82-member caucus, claimed that he had also complained to Zille in October last year about what he termed “apartheid” symptoms in the party’s structures in the metro.

“She said she will come back and address it. This is a message to Helen: ‘Helen you are late’,” he said.

“It is there in the (party) structures. Nobody is talking about it. Whatever we are pushing at the ground level is not what they are pushing at national level.

“We found it very offending ... when she introduced our presidential candidate because of colour. It really undermined us and the efforts that we had,” said Moimane, who claimed to have been a member for over 13 years.

It is not clear if the ANC will field Moimane, who had not yet tendered his resignation to the DA when his defection was announced in Joburg, as a councillor-candidate once the Independent Electoral Commission declares his position vacant.

However, Tshwane DA leader Solly Msimanga said his party had expected the two to defect as they had been slack performers.

“They were not happy that we had asked them to attend a training session. This was going to happen eventually. We expected them to use race, not the real reason (as an excuse),” Msimanga said.

Moimane said there were many disgruntled black councillors in the DA throughout the country, and pledged to recruit a DA councillor every month – except next month, out of respect for Zille’s birthday.

Gauteng ANC secretary David Makhura said the two were joining the ANC as volunteers who had joined without being offered anything, and said the party would contest the by-election.

He also said the DA’s marchers to Luthuli House would have been received peacefully by the ANC on Tuesday, and that there was disappointment that the march had not happened. The DA has since rescheduled its march to the ANC’s national headquarters to Tuesday.

View the gallery: ANC supporters gather to oppose DA march that never was

DA Gauteng premier candidate Mmusi Maimane welcomed Makhura’s promise that ANC members would be peaceful.

“We trust that this presence will be peaceful, as was the case when ANC marchers were received by DA premier Helen Zille in Cape Town yesterday.

“The key battleground in this election is on the issue of jobs and who has the best policies to create them,” he said.


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