Solly Msimanga (Iavan Pijoos, News24)
Johannesburg - ANC Tshwane mayoral candidate Thoko Didiza is afraid to meet people in the area on her own.
That was the word from Didiza's competition, the DA's Solly Msimanga, on Thursday.
He claimed Didiza felt unsafe around the people of Mamelodi and that the metro police had been deployed to protect her.
"You don't need to have law enforcement or protection against the people that are supposed to be voting for you. If they are so comfortable in getting the support of the people why do you feel the need to remove the metro police... from where security is much needed.
"If she is confident about the support she is going to enjoy in the townships then she doesn't need hundreds of metro police to be deployed in Mamelodi to ensure she is protected," he said.
Msimanga said he had no protection because he was taking the people into his confidence.
Didiza's campaign manager Tebogo Joala denied these allegations saying that Msimanga was being malicious. "It's another malicious stunt by the DA. He has no credibility with the people."
Joala said Didiza had spoken to over 60 000 community members in Mamelodi and other townships in Tshwane.
ANC members crossing over
"Msimanga has never addressed more than 1 000 people in Tshwane and he thinks he can be a mayor. She has addressed over 60 000 people over the week," he told News24.
Msimanga's statement comes after violent protests in Tshwane where five people died after the ANC announced Didiza as its mayoral candidate. More than 50 township residents were arrested during the unrest.
Msimanga was speaking before welcoming more than 50 ANC members who had crossed over to the DA in Refilwe, East of Pretoria.
The former ANC members told journalists they were tired of empty promises and had faith that Msimanga and the DA would make changes in the region.
"All we know is corruption and empty promises from the ANC. We want houses, we want jobs and we want a bright future for our children," said Refilwe resident Thoko Radebe.
Msimanga handed over DA T-shirts to the new members promising to make changes in the region should he win.
Msimanga also visited Mamelodi accompanied by party leader Mmusi Maimane.
Tshwane metro police spokesperson Console Tleane could not be reached for comment.
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