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‘Colour is very important in DA’

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da members now ANC

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#ANCGP Sello Maila and Sam Moimane (former DA councillors) receive their new "uniforms" ML pic.twitter.com/l7JJjjVFYE Photo: @Bhintsintsi

Johannesburg - A Democratic Alliance councillor who defected to the ANC on Thursday claimed there were "symptoms of apartheid" in the opposition party.

"We've seen that colour is very important (in the DA)," Sam Moimane told reporters in Johannesburg.

"I've never experienced apartheid, but when I came into the DA... we find the symptoms of apartheid in the DA."

Moimane, from Hammanskraal, said he joined the DA in 2000. He was the party's councillor in Tshwane's ward 58 in the inner city.

He said he was the only black ward councillor out of 37 DA councillors in Tshwane.

Moimane and City of Tshwane DA councillor Sello Maila were welcomed into the African National Congress by Gauteng secretary David Makhura at the party's provincial office in Johannesburg.

DA Gauteng leader John Moodey on Thursday said the two councillors were "opportunistic" and were no loss to the DA.

"They weren't performing as expected and they were coming under pressure," he said.

"We don't see this as a loss for the DA."

Moodey questioned what the ANC had offered Moimane and Maila to defect. He also denied Moimane's claims that there were "symptoms of apartheid" in the opposition party.

"If they believe the party was racist... why did they remain in the party for as long as they have?"

DA Gauteng North regional chairman Solly Msimanga said Moimane and Maila never handed in letters of resignation, but the defection came as no surprise.

"The DA is positioning itself as the government in waiting for the Tshwane municipality after elections in 2016 and this cannot be achieved with public representatives who are unprincipled and not willing to deliver services to Pretoria residents," he said echoing Moodey's sentiments about the councillors' performance.

"The DA will not be held to ransom by individuals who think that they will get away with non-delivery and opportunism."

In welcoming the pair to the ANC Makhura said: "Welcome to the home of those who want to transform South Africa," he told the two.

Moimane and Maila were each given a yellow African National Congress T-shirt and a copy of the party's election manifesto.

Speaking about why he left the DA, Moimane said he had raised issues within party structures but they were never addressed.

"Whatever we are pushing at the ground level is not what they are pushing at the national level. That is why Helen (Zille) didn't even bother to tell us that she's bringing (Mamphela) Ramphele in."

He said DA leader Helen Zille's announcement last week that Agang SA founder Mamphela Ramphele would be the party's presidential candidate was "offending" and was not discussed with party members.

He said Ramphele was introduced as the presidential candidate because she was black.

Moodey said Moimane's claims about Ramphele had no grounds, as the DA had been negotiating with her since 2010, with the blessing of the party.

"I believe he's being opportunistic."

Maila said he was excited to join the ANC and start working as a volunteer.

"We have to make our children and children's children aware of what the ANC did," he said.

Makhura said the two would be introduced to the branches of the ANC in the wards where they lived and would fill in membership forms. They would then be put on a six-month probation period.

"A six-month period in which you are going to be tried and tested. After that period... they are going to emerge successful."

Moimane and Maila would get "political education".

The pair would resign from their positions as councillors.

 

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