‘ANC arrogance falls’ in by-election
Nathi Olifant | 2017-03-30 08:29:02.0
The DA fired first last Monday when it brought out leader Mmusi Maimane‚ who took his #Change19 campaign to the once coloureds-only township. File photo
Image by: Gallo Images
The DA retained Pietermaritzburg’s hotly contested Ward 32 in a by-election on Wednesday‚ with 53 percent of the vote‚ improving on the 47 percent they got during last year’s local government elections.
Despite an aggressive campaign ahead of the by-election‚ the ANC received 44 percent of the vote‚ down from the 46 percent gained in its previous showing.
So significant was Ward 32 in Woodlands that both the DA and the ANC deployed their big guns last week. The results also mean the DA’s opposition voice is strengthened in the Msunduzi Municipality’s powerful executive committee.
The DA fired first last Monday when it brought out leader Mmusi Maimane‚ who took his #Change19 campaign to the once coloureds-only township.
The ANC retaliated a day later‚ when ANC national executive committee member and deputy agriculture minister Bheki Cele led a legion of three provincial MECs and mayors to the township in a rally styled as a government Human Rights Day commemoration.
The ANC’s rally centred around Western Cape Premier Helen Zille’s stormy tweet praising colonialism‚ with KZN Finance MEC Belinda Scott saying the remarks made her ashamed of being white.
It was‚ however‚ the DA that put in a strong showing on Wednesday‚ with its pastor candidate Shawn Adkin beating out the ANC’s Merle Williams.
The Maritzburg’s Ward 32 became vacant late last year when former DA councillor Clive Lots defected to the ANC after being appointed manager in the Speaker’s office.
DA KwaZulu-Natal leader Zwakele Mncwango wrote on Facebook at midnight: “Democracy has prevailed indeed…I’m proud of the DA KZN team.
“We are excited with this victory. Voters have the power to punish corrupt and greedy politician and they have indeed proven their power to Clive Lots and the ANC. ANC arrogance has fallen as they became biggest losers in this bi-election‚” he said.
“The race card by Clive and ANC didn’t work at all‚ he made serious allegations when he joined the ANC forgetting that voters are not stupid‚” added Mncwango.
Maritzburg’s by-election was the only one in the province after objections to the uPhongolo Ward 7’s voters’ roll forced a last-minute postponement.