DA welcomes North West defectors

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IOL pic apr17 helen zille blue da poster in background INDEPENDENT NEWSPAPERS Western Cape Premier Helen Zille File photo: Dumisani Sibeko

North West -

The DA welcomed two significant additions to the party in the North West on Tuesday morning - the Congress of the People’s (Cope) provincial youth wing leader, Welsh Seleka, and leader of Morokweng people, Kgosi Jonas Pitso.

Both individuals, who represent important new constituencies for the party, said they had approached the DA.

Leader of country’s official opposition, Helen Zille was in the North West to address a mini-rally in the township of Matlosane outside Klerksdorp, which is an old mining town.

DA North West leader, Chris Hattingh, said the party hoped to double its support in the province from the 8 percent it received in 2009 to at least 16 percent in the provincial and national elections scheduled for next week.

The ANC, which won 80 percent in North West in 2009, faces an uphill battle in the province.

It has been plagued by in-fighting and factional battles which resulted in ANC councilors voting out their own mayor in the nearby Municipality of Tlokwe (Potchefstroom).

The Madibeng Municpality has also faced problems relating to corrupt ANC municipal officials which resulting in violent service delivery protests.

These resulted in the deaths of three protesters earlier this year in Mothotlung outside Brits over the provision of water.

North West has also seen the rise of a rival to the National Union of Mineworkers, the Association of Mining and Construction Workers Union (Amcu).

Amcu has led the country’s longest mining strike since the advent of democracy on the province’s platinum belt, which has in effect rendered much of the province no-go areas for the ANC during the election campaign season.

Despite this, President Jacob Zuma was scheduled to visit the Marikana area today where 34 striking mineworkers were shot dead by police two years ago.

Hattingh hit out at weekend reports in the City Press newspaper that the SA Democratic Teachers Union was selling principal and deputy principal positions for R30 000 a pop.

“The education of our children is up for sale,” he said.

“The ANC got 80 percent in North West in 2009, but there is a chance they will be pushed to between 50 and60 percent and when that happens you are very near to losing,” Zille told supporters.

“When they talk about their good story they don’t talk about North West.”

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