DA loses out to Freedom Front Plus in by-election

2019-07-11 15:21
The Freedom Front Plus' Pieter Mulder, Pieter Groenwald and Wouter Wessels. (Jan Gerber, News24)

The Freedom Front Plus' Pieter Mulder, Pieter Groenwald and Wouter Wessels. (Jan Gerber, News24)

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The Freedom Front Plus (FF+) is continuing to frustrate the Democratic Alliance, taking a seat from the party in a North West by-election.

The Electoral Commission of South Africa (IEC) confirmed that the party's Stephanus Petrus Kloppers won the by-election in ward 30 in the Matlosana Municipality in the North West.

The party won the seat from the DA, with 56.61% of the votes cast, compared to the 62.37% the DA secured in the 2016 municipal elections. Voter turnout was at 34.16%.

This most recent electoral victory by the FF+ over the DA, on a micro scale, mirrors a trend in the general elections held in May this year.

FF+ head of elections and strategy, Wouter Wessels, told News24 at the time: "We have shown significant growth. We are currently in fifth place and we are very near the IFP. We are part of the big five parties and I think that is an achievement and it is a foundation for 2021."

The FF+ growth has been linked to the DA's declining electoral fortunes.

READ:The DA's campaign battle plan was simply wrong

According to Philip van Staden, a member of the party's national executive, former DA supporters who voted for the Freedom Front Plus in this year's election felt alienated and vulnerable in a country where race dominates national discourse.

After seeing disappointing results, DA leader Mmusi Maimane said his party must continue to occupy the "rational centre" of South African politics, and to strive to represent "one South Africa for all" - the party's election slogan.

"We dare not pander to the left or right; we must occupy the centre," he said in a party memo.

Other winners in by-elections this week include the ANC, which retained seats in Mpumalanga that the party initially won in the 2016 municipal elections.

Mahlashwani Marius Masinga is the new ANC councillor in ward 31 in the Govan Mbeki Municipality in Mpumalanga. The party retained the seat with 53.04% of the votes cast compared to 67.84% in 2016. Voter turnout was 30.57%.

Sifiso Wyken Ngomane is the new ANC councillor in ward 32 in Nkomazi Municipality, also in Mpumalanga. The ANC retained the seat with 90.07% of the votes cast, compared to 86.90% in 2016. Voter turnout was 35.47%.

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Read more on:    da  |  ff plus  |  mahikeng  |  politics  |  elections 2019
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