DA in Gaut­eng jos­tles in bid to aim at premier

Sunday Times - - News | Politics - By APHIWE DEKLERK

● The race to be the DA’s can­di­date for Gaut­eng premier is hot­ting up as more lead­ers are set to throw their names in the hat.

Gaut­eng MPL Makashule Gana has for­mally ap­plied for the job. MP Ghaleb Cachalia, Tsh­wane Speaker Katlego Mathebe and Gaut­eng MPL Jack Bloom are said to be ready to chal­lenge Gana.

The party has ex­tended its dead­line for ap­pli­ca­tions to the end of next week.

The DA has set its sights on tak­ing over Gaut­eng af­ter it took con­trol of Tsh­wane and Jo­han­nes­burg in the 2016 lo­cal gov­ern­ment elec­tions. The party is ex­pected to spend most of its re­sources on the Gaut­eng cam­paign.

Gana launched his cam­paign in April, just two days af­ter the party’s na­tional elec­tive con­fer­ence. He has the sup­port of in­flu­en­tial lead­ers in the prov­ince. His cam­paign launch was at­tended by Gaut­eng leader John Moodey, Tsh­wane mayor Solly Msi­manga and Mid­vaal mayor Bon­gani Baloyi.

Gana had ap­peared to be the fron­trun­ner but in­sid­ers say Cachalia had been ap­proached by high-rank­ing DA lead­ers to stand. Cachalia, the son of strug­gle stal­warts Yusuf and Amina Cachalia, joined the DA in 2016 and was the party’s may­oral can­di­date for Ekurhu­leni.

On Fri­day, he con­firmed that he had been ap­proached to run but said any fur­ther an­nounce­ments would be made by the party.

“I have been ap­proached by a num­ber of peo­ple from a broad spec­trum within the party to stand . . . I am still con­sid­er­ing.” He con­firmed he had been speak­ing to in­flu­en­tial DA fig­ures but did not name them.

Gana said he was fo­cused on his cam­paign and was re­ceiv­ing a lot of sup­port across DA structures.

Mathebe said she could nei­ther con­firm nor deny that she was plan­ning to join the race, as it would be wrong to speak pub­licly.

Bloom de­clined to com­ment, but the Sun­day Times was re­li­ably in­formed that he was plan­ning to join the race.

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