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Cape Town - Former DA parliamentary leader Sandra Botha looks set to make a comeback to active politics after leaving Parliament in 2009.
South Africa’s former ambassador to the Czech Republic, whose term expired in June, is among almost 1 500 people who have applied to run for political office on the DA ticket. Federal executive chairman James Selfe confirmed on Wednesday that Botha had submitted her application.
However, controversial AbaThembu King Buyelekhaya Dalindyebo, who joined the DA recently, has been disqualified because he has a criminal record. He was convicted of culpable homicide in 2009.
Selfe said they had so far received 1 435 submissions, with 630 of those for the National Assembly and 808 for the provincial legislatures. The Western Cape and Gauteng provinces had received the most applications.
“For the first time everything is on computer. So, about 98 percent of applicants applied online. The Western Cape legislature and Gauteng are two areas where we expect to be the government or are challenging to be the government, and obviously those tend to attract a number of people,” said Selfe.
Political analyst Professor Susan Booysen said the DA’s selection of party outsiders as MPs and MPLs has the potential to alienate long-serving members and experienced party stalwarts. The DA had used the same candidate selection process for years. And there would definitely be a mix of old and new candidates.
A DA insider, who is also an MP, said the party’s caucus in the National Assembly would most likely be younger and “oomie-free”.
“There are more young people competing for positions so there are no guarantees on anybody coming back,” the MP said.