ANC heavyweight and Defence Minister Lindiwe Sisulu is in the Western Cape to ensure ANC victories in two hotly contested by-elections this week.

The by-elections on Wednesday in the City of Cape Town’s ward 45, which includes Gugulethu and parts of Manenberg, and Grabouw’s ward 11 in the Theewaterskloof municipality, have been described as a two-horse race between the ANC and the DA.

Both wards were previously held by the DA. Ward 45 councillor Faiza Adams died earlier this year and Grabouw’s ward 11 councillor, Cathy Booysen-Nefdt, resigned from the DA to join the ANC in January. Booysen-Nefdt is the ANC’s candidate for the by-election in Theewaterskloof.

In ward 45, the ANC’s Nonthuthuzelo Dlongodlongo will be up against the DA’s Siyabulela Mamkeli.

Last week, Mamkeli filed intimidation charges against ANC members after some branch members allegedly hurled insults at DA support staff and tried to prevent them from handing out pamphlets in Gugulethu.

He said that on Saturday, JP Smith, the city’s mayoral committee member for safety, had been forced to call in law enforcement officers to defuse a stand-off.

“They were hurling abuse and preventing DA members from handing out pamphlets,” Mamkeli said. “But we won’t let this hamper our preparation. We are confident we will be successful in that ward again.”

Mamkeli has opened a case of intimidation at the Gugulethu police station.

DA metro chairman Grant Pascoe said: “We condemn any acts of intimidation and call on the ANC to respect the democratic process and hope the IEC will ensure a free and fair election on Wednesday.”

On Sunday Sisulu, flanked by ANC MPL Mcebisi Skwatsha and ANC metro chairman Xolani Sotashe, addressed a rally at the Gugulethu sports complex.

Sisulu said the DA was “no threat to the ANC”, and she was in the province to ensure the City of Cape Town and the Western Cape was “back where it belongs”. “We are here today to take back this ward, this city and this province.” - Cape Argus

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