Cape Town - Health Minister Aaron Motsoaledi’s deployment to the Western Cape before next year’s general election is a “serious slap in the face” for ANC provincial leader Marius Fransman, says the DA.

But the ANC in the province says it is unfazed by the DA’s “mudslinging tactics”, and that the party is focused on its “programme of action” to win back the Western Cape in 2014.

Motsoaledi, an ANC national executive committee member, was deployed to the Western Cape last week to lead the campaign to reclaim the province from the DA.

Theuns Botha, the DA’s deputy provincial leader,on Wednesday welcomed Motsoaledi “as a new political player in the province”.

“Motsoaledi’s deployment is a serious slap in the face of Marius Fransman... and an acknowledgement that Fransman is failing on his promises to the ANC,” Botha said.

“It is also an acknowledgement that the ANC has no potential for leadership in its provincial ranks.

“(Fransman’s) public opponents and members of the Western Cape provincial legislature, Mcebisi Skwatsha and Lynne Brown, both made it to the national executive committee at Mangaung. Their election to the NEC now gives them more political power than poor Fransman.”

But Fransman said that the ANC was not interested in mudslinging, and was instead focused solely on winning back the Western Cape.

He announced this week that 5 000 volunteers would be recruited by May to go on a 12-month unpaid sabbatical “to defeat the DA in the Western Cape” next year.

Motsoaledi spent the day yesterday meeting the ANC’s provincial leadership at the party’s headquarters at Sahara House. Earlier this week, he said his first task would be to implement the recommendations of a report that found irregularities and manipulation in the way ANC candidates were selected before the 2011 local government elections.

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Cape Argus