BARRYDALE – A relatively peaceful gathering at Smitsville’s Fortshaven Hall on March 8 was turned on its head when Democratic Alliance (DA) Federal Council Chairperson Helen Zille told the audience that the African National Congress (ANC) is a dying party.
Zille was a guest speaker at the announcement of the party’s Ward 2 candidate, Beate Joubert, ahead of a Swellendam Municipality by-election that is scheduled to take place on March 22.
“The ANC is a dying party and although we are taking small steps forward , the DA is the only answer to a better South Africa for everyone,” said Zille.
These words did not sit well with a group of ANC members that included Swellendam Councillor Amanda Swart.
These upset individuals highlighted that the reason for the upcoming by-election was the DAs fault.
In December Swellendam Municipality speaker Bongani Sonqwenqwe, deputy mayor Abraham Pokwas and councillor Gcobisa Mangcu-Qotyiwe were axed from the DA for allegedly voting against a caucus decision regarding holding back on advertising for the appointment of a director for corporate services at the municipality.
Pokwas, Sonqwenqwe and Mangcu-Qotyiwe have challenged the constitutionality of the party’s cessation clause and are now awaiting a Cape Town High court verdict.
The DA panel which included Swellandam Mayor Francois du Rand and Overberg District Municipality Mayor Sakkie Franken did not comment on this matter as it sub judice.
Patriotic Alliance also hammered by Zille
While their reaction was less aggressive than that of the ANC, Patriotic Alliance (PA) members who were in attendance strongly disagreed with Zille’s view that a vote for the PA is actually a vote for the ANC.
“There is only blue and yellow, and a vote for the PA is a vote for the ANC,” said Zille.
“We have seen on so many occasions that these baby parties hand over their votes to the ANC at the conclusion of an election. That is what the PA does as well.”
Zille added that the DA is the only progressive party and that post Covid-119 169 000 jobs had been created in South Africa of which 167 000 are in the DA run Western Cape.
Joubert makes heart felt entry into local politics
Prior to Zille’s speech DA Ward 2 candidate Beate Joubert delivered her first public address.
“I’ve parked my life, placed my business on ice, raised my hand and put my neck on the line for each and every one of you to try and make a difference,” said Joubert.
“I’m not standing for a certain group of people, but for everyone in this community. I’m 100% devoted to making a difference and yes I am aware of all the divisions and the bad feelings between people but I decided that I would not sit on the sidelines and watch.”
Joubert added that she was also frustrated with service delivery and other local issues, but insisted that she will make a difference.
“I want to be there in the boxing ring, not for myself, but for you, the community of Barrydale.”
“I give my word that I will not run away and along with Pastoor Frans Kees, I will reach out and attend to all important community matters.”
Joubert said that she would be actively involved and “sit in the living rooms of all residents to discuss important matters.”
“I’m laying my life before you and I ask that you trust that I’m here to help you.”
Joubert said that she would be fighting for the rights of women and children (and men) and that she has always had a very soft spot for the ‘underdogs’.
“I will, with God’s help, make a big difference for each and everyone.
*editorial note: News62 has reached out to both the ANC and PA to cover the announcement of their respective candidates for this by-election.