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Durban - Tex Collins, the ousted DA caucus leader in eThekwini, is backing his deputy Zwakele Mncwango as the best man for his job.
Collins and exco member Ronnie Veeran were removed from their posts after a vote of no confidence was passed against them on Monday.
Provincial leader Sizwe Mchunu said the DA caucus had felt that stronger representation was needed at the executive committee level.
Nominations for caucus leader and the exco seat would close on Friday.
According to sources, the two top runners for caucus leader were ward councillor Warwick Chapman and Mncwango, a proportional representation councillor.
Another contender is Durban North councillor Dean Macpherson, who resigned last month as chief whip after a fallout with Collins.
“Warwick is a good councillor, but Zwakele is also popular so it should be very close. Dean is also considering, but he is not as popular as the other two,” an insider said.
Collins voiced his support for Mncwango on Wednesday.
“I endorsed Mncwango because he has the skills and integrity. The party also wants to attract young, aspirant black voters so it makes sense for him to be in that position,” he said, adding that the exco seat was hotly contested by caucus members.
Mncwango confirmed that he had been nominated and said he had been “boosted” by Collins’s endorsement.
“I greatly respect Tex and he has been a mentor to me. I served as his deputy and I learnt a lot from him.”
Chapman declined to comment on his nomination.
Apparently several councillors were vying for the exco seat including Jayraj Singh, a former MF councillor, and La Lucia/Umhlanga ward councillor Heinz de Boer.
A source said Singh was well favoured due to his experience and knowledge, but it was an open race.
Explaining the election process on Wednesday, Mchunu said the vote would take place by ballot and there would be a public count of the votes. He said that once they had put in their nominations, the caucus members were free to lobby for votes.
The DA’s PR councillor Sharon Hoosen, who has the backing of a lot of caucus members, is expected to be chosen as chief whip.
According to the party’s rules, the chief whip is chosen by the caucus leader.
The election will be held next week.