Zille on KZN walkabout

2014-07-02 00:00

DA leader Helen Zille yesterday said it was best for voters to consolidate their votes on one strong and real alternative than waste them on small parties.

Zille was campaigning in Phoenix for today’s by-election in Ward 52, which became vacant after a Minority Front councillor resigned to join the DA.

She arrived to chants from an enthusiastic crowd that mobbed her as she got out of her car.

Addressing DA members and supporters, Zille said the DA was the fastest growing party.

“We grew by more than 50% in KwaZulu-Natal. We are growing right here in Ward 52,” she said in reference to the growth of the party particularly in the recent elections.

“It is very important for us to grow everywhere in South Africa,” she added.

After her stop and greet in Phoenix, Zille left for a walkabout at a shopping centre in Chatsworth’s Ward 73.

The ward also became vacant after a Minority Front councillor resigned to join the DA.

Zille did not go to Durban North’s Ward 36, which is contested by the DA and ANC.

The province is holding seven by-elections, in eThekwini, Endumeni, Hlabisa and KwaDukuza municipalities.

Meanwhile, Zille again threw her weight behind the embattled party national spokesperson, MP Phumzile van Damme. At the weekend the Sunday Times reported that Van Damme was born in Manzini, Swaziland, in 1983, and that her mother, Lynette van Damme, was also born in Swaziland.

This has since raised questions over her citizenship and eligibility to be an MP, with the DA saying its lawyers were attending to the issue and also threatening to report the newspaper to the Press Ombudsman. “I stand behind her 100%. As far as I am concerned and she is concerned, she told the truth,” she said, adding that nobody knew personally where they were born. “We have to take what our parents tell us.”

Zille also insisted that Van Damme was a South African. “She has got a South African identity document. She has a South African passport. She is a South African and she remains a MP of the DA.”

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