EFF claims DA defection victory in Cape Town

2016-06-30 14:25
Sidney de Vries accepts an EFF shirt. (Jenna Etheridge, News24)

Cape Town – About 100 people, said to be former supporters or members of the DA in Cape Town, joined the EFF on Thursday morning.

- Elections Map: Previous Cape Town results

Among them were former Democratic Alliance Cape Agulhas Ward 1 councillor Warnick October and former Ravensmead councillor Freddie Kearns.

Back in 2014, Kearns left the DA for the Patriotic Alliance, founded by Gayton McKenzie and his business associate Kenny Kunene.

"Gooi daai blou weg! (Throw that blue away)" were the words of one of the women who stood in the queue for a red shirt.

The group, from Ravensmead and Gugulethu, cited various concerns about poverty and service delivery.

Western Cape Economic Freedom Fighters head Bernard Joseph welcomed them with open arms – but said they would not burn the few DA shirts that were left on the table.

"We will likely send [them] to the DA."

'ANC asleep at the wheel'

Joseph said the poor in the province suffered from a lack of accountable and responsible opposition government.

He said the provincial ANC existed only to oppose itself.

"For the intents and purposes of representing the interests of communities, the ANC is asleep at the wheel."

He accused the DA of using black and coloured people for their vote.

October and Kearns said they were tired of lies and racism. Both shared their respect for EFF leader Julius Malema.

"Don't look at him. Close your eyes and listen to him putting bread and butter issues on the table," said Kearns.

Sidney de Vries, who described himself as a former DA voter, called Cape Town Mayor Patricia de Lille a "Chihuahua of Helen Zille, who has to bark when she is asked". 

'Known gangster'

DA metro chairperson Shaun August told News24 on Thursday that the group were not DA members.

"We don't know about them. They have never been involved in the branches and one of them is a known gangster."

He said De Vries was a longstanding friend of Kearns and had never been a DA member.

"Some of the group went to our activists this morning to request DA shirts, but because they weren't members, they didn't get."

He said they would deal with two people employed by the city through the Expanded Public Works Programme, who apparently left their stations in the morning and jumped into a taxi with the EFF.

August said they were not threatened by the EFF.

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