DA lets mem­ber who jumped gun in pre­mier race off hook

The Sunday Independent - - Politics - BALD­WIN NDABA

MAKASHULE Gana, the DA Gaut­eng mem­ber of the pro­vin­cial leg­is­la­ture, will not face dis­ci­plinary ac­tion for pro­nounc­ing his am­bi­tions as the party’s pre­mier can­di­date in next year’s na­tional elec­tions be­fore the of­fi­cial op­po­si­tion could open the nom­i­na­tion process.

Yes­ter­day, the DA leader in the prov­ince John Moodey said his fel­low leg­is­la­ture mem­ber did not breach his party’s rules when he pro­nounced his readi­ness in April. Two months ago, Gana said he was ready to lead Gaut­eng, and that he would do so like a marathon run­ner, “who has trained un­ceas­ingly”.

“I am ready to scale the po­lit­i­cal moun­tains,” he said at the time.

DA leader Mmusi Maimane yes­ter­day en­dorsed the view that peo­ple can pro­nounce their can­di­dacy for the elec­tion. He said all South Africans would be al­lowed to ap­ply to be­come mem­bers of the nine leg­is­la­tures and Par­lia­ment on­line.

Maimane also an­nounced that the party had set its sights on se­cur­ing the premier­ship in three of the coun­try’s nine prov­inces, and Gaut­eng would be their prime tar­get along with the North­ern Cape.

He told the me­dia their de­ci­sion to tar­get the two prov­inces and to re­tain the ma­jor­ity in the Western Cape was taken at its two days Federal Ex­ec­u­tive meet­ing that ended yes­ter­day.

He said his party would go into of­fi­cial cam­paign­ing later this month with the view to do an of­fi­cial launch in next month.

How­ever, the DA’s hopes to usurp Gaut­eng ap­pear to rely on me­dia re­ports that the in­cum­bent ANC chair­per­son and Pre­mier David Makhura was likely to be con­tested for his party pro­vin­cial lead­er­ship po­si­tion by his one-time friend and for­mer mayor of Tsh­wane Kgosientso Ramok­gopa.

Ac­cord­ing to Maimane, the im­mi­nent con­tes­ta­tion at the im­ped­ing ANC pro­vin­cial congress next month showed that there were cracks in the ANC in Gaut­eng.

He also said the Life Esidi­meni saga would af­fect the ANC sup­port. Maimane was adamant that his party would take over Gaut­eng.

“Along­side the party’s pres­i­den­tial can­di­date will be a di­verse and


ca­pa­ble team, which will each be man­dated with one key strate­gic is­sue that af­fects South Africans daily. Af­ter that, the party will launch pre­mier can­di­date cam­paigns across the coun­try.

“It is our be­lief that we field pre­mier can­di­dates in each prov­ince who are ca­pa­ble, ded­i­cated, and able to speak to vot­ers di­rectly on our plans to bring about real change.” Maimane said his Federal Ex­ec­u­tive moved to adopt a num­ber of res­o­lu­tions, which would form the ba­sis for their elec­tion cam­paign.

“The Federal Ex­ec­u­tive set the party… non-ne­go­tiable tar­gets for the 2019 elec­tions – one of which is to be­come the big­gest party in Gaut­eng and to form a government in the prov­ince,” Maimane said.

Ac­cord­ing to Maimane, the three prov­inces are “strate­gic” for his party, which also aimed to sub­stan­tially in­crease its per­cent­age of the na­tional votes cast.

“This means that KwaZulu-Na­tal, the North West and the East­ern Cape will con­trib­ute sig­nif­i­cantly to the growth tar­gets of the party based on our strong struc­tures and elec­toral per­for­mance,” Maimane said.

He also said his party was gain­ing mo­men­tum in ru­ral ar­eas, es­pe­cially in the East­ern Cape.

“We grew from 88% to 96% in the ward by-elec­tion in Buf­falo City Mu­nic­i­pal­ity on Fri­day, and from 6.24% to 24.9 in Ingquza Hill lo­cal mu­nic­i­pal­ity,” he said.

Makashule Gana.

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