NPP 'will fight for coloureds'

2007-09-02 21:34

Cape Town - Though everyone is welcome to join the newly-formed National People's Party (NPP), it will focus on fighting for the betterment of coloureds, its leader David Sasman said on Sunday.

He was addressing the party's first media conference where it was announced that a total of 66 local councillors in the Western Cape had crossed the floor to join the NPP.

Sasman said: "We need to unify the coloureds. At this stage there are coloured leaders that proclaim they are the voice of the coloured people, but you can see they've got party angles and party allegiances.

'We need a voice'

He said the African National Congress catered particularly for black people and the Democratic Alliance "looks after" whites.

"You cannot be the coloured voice and have allegiance towards the ANC or have a coloured voice and have allegiance to the DA.

"We need a voice for the coloured people and for coloured people only. We aren't a coloured party, because that's wrong to have a coloured party only.

"But we will look after the interests of coloured people in particular."

He said the party was open to everyone, and it had black and white members on its council.

Sasman confirmed that Cape Town African Muslim Party councillor Badhi Chaaban had played a major role in setting up the new party.

"However it's up to him if he wants to join the NPP," he said.

Chaaban has not yet revealed whether he does intend crossing the floor.

NPP chief executive Faried Stemmet said the party was "clearly and definitely pro-poor.

Won awards for his performance

"The party stands on its vision of service delivery to the people of South Africa.

"The party stands and will make certain that the poor, the poorest of the poor, will be protected."

He said the NPP was positioning itself as a national party, with an eye on the 2009 general elections.

Quizzed on the party's relationship to Karoo politician Truman Prince, Petrus Roodtman, another senior NPP member, said Prince was an "honourable member of society" and a good leader, who had won awards for his performance as administrator in Beaufort West.

Roodtman, who is a councillor on the Kannaland council in the Little Karoo, said he was an NPP councillor, but a member of Prince's Independent Civic Organisation of SA.

The Icosa constitution allowed dual membership, he said.