Woodlands faces new poll as councillor defects to ANC

2016-11-16 06:01

BARELY four months after winning Ward 32 for the first time ever, the DA will have to again fight for the ward in a ballot after its councillor jumped ship.

The ward is set for a by-election early next year after DA councillor Clive Lots resigned and dumped his party.

The ward, which incorporates Woodlands, had traditionally been an ANC stronghold and had gone to the opposition for the first time.

Lots, alongside prominent DA leader in the area Merle Williams, has joined the ANC.

Lots said he had decided to join the ANC because the DA had “frustrated” him and the coloured community.

“I have been frustrated up until thus far as a coloured candidate. In Msunduzi, there are 15 DA councillors, and I am the only coloured public representative of the DA. That does not represent the demographics on the ground. There is no place for coloured people,” he said

Lots said to prove that the DA does not care about coloured people, its mayoral campaign had been concentrated on white and Indian areas.

“I am going to work tirelessly to make sure that the ward goes back to the ANC. This ward has been traditionally ANC. It is the party that I grew up supporting,” he said. Asked if he will stand as an ANC candidate if he is nominated, Lots said he will “cross that bridge when we get there”.

“At the moment, I have no intention [of doing so],” he said.

DA provincial leader Zwakele Mncwango said although the exit of the two left the DA “unmoved”, the party would not have liked to face a by-election at this stage.

“The DA believes in freedom of political association, and as such any person may join the political party of his or her choice. We wish Lots and Williams well in their future endeavours. Perhaps they will work harder for the ANC than they did for us,” he said.

Mncwango said Lots was facing charges of leaking party information and breaching their social media policy.

“We’ve been suspicious of Clive for a while now. In fact, he was on the way out anyway ... He knew he wouldn’t really win any of these charges.

“And I think as a party, it is good that we have an opportunity now to field a candidate that will work for us because he has been working for the ANC while with the DA. We have been following what he’s been doing. That is why we knew he was leaking information to the ANC,” he said.

Lots denied that he was facing the charges.

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