Mar

CityPress - - News - S’THEMBILE CELE sthem­bile.cele@city­press.co.za

The DA’s in­ter­nal polls in­di­cate that the party could gov­ern Gaut­eng in 2019, but must first over­come dirty bat­tles be­ing waged among fac­tions ahead of next week’s congress, where new pro­vin­cial lead­ers will be elected.

Current Gaut­eng leader John Moodey told City Press this week that in­ter­nal polls placed the DA in the early 40s per­centile.

Dur­ing the 2014 gen­eral elec­tions, the DA ob­tained 31% of the vote in Gaut­eng.

Should the fig­ures hold steady un­til 2019, the party has to gov­ern through a coali­tion, but it is push­ing to go it alone.

Although the in­ter­nal polls fluc­tu­ate, they have placed the DA in the late 40s per­centile, with 51% be­ing its high­est per­cent­age in re­cent months. This has em­bold­ened the party, which already governs in the West­ern Cape.

Lead­ers who will emerge from next week’s much-an­tic­i­pated congress will be re­spon­si­ble for steer­ing the party to vic­tory.

How­ever, emails seen by City Press this week have laid bare deep di­vi­sions as sup­port­ers of Moodey and his op­po­nent, Ghaleb Cachalia, bat­tle it out. The re­cent spate of mud-sling­ing was in­sti­gated by a leak to the me­dia, in­di­cat­ing that mem­ber­ship au­dits in the prov­ince were not in or­der.

Mike Wa­ters, a DA MP and Cachalia backer, has been fin­gered as the source of the leak, which is al­leged to have been in­tended to taint Moodey, who is look­ing to be re-elected next week. Cachalia, who joined the party last year, was the DA’s Ekurhu­leni may­oral can­di­date dur­ing the 2016 local polls. It is un­der­stood that he is also eye­ing the po­si­tion of pre­mier come 2019.

Among the emails is a let­ter writ­ten by current DA pro­vin­cial chair­per­son and Tsh­wane mayor Solly Msi­manga, who backs Moodey. In the let­ter, writ­ten to fed­eral ex­ec­u­tive chair­per­son James Selfe, Msi­manga

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