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Cape Town -
Tensions are rising in the DA with some disgruntled members claiming the party has “tossed its old faithfuls to make space for inexperienced youngsters who have no pull in the communities”.
The party has revealed its lists of provincial and national government candidates to be deployed after the upcoming general elections.
In the Western Cape 58 DA hopefuls are vying for seats as MPLs in the legislature.
Some DA members, who spoke to the Cape Argus on condition of anonymity, claimed factions within the DA – the “old Nats” and the “DP liberals” – were at each others’ throats following the finalisation of the lists processes.
Some Western Cape MECs could find themselves without jobs after the elections, after some placed much lower on the list than expected.
Notable losses from the DA caucus include a host of well-known members from the old NP faction, who, according to highly placed DA sources, have been sidelined, with most coming in at the bottom of the list while some did not even make the cut.
These include Agriculture and Rural Development MEC Gerrit van Rensburg, who on Monday announced that he would retire after the elections, DA MPL Cathlene Labuschagne, DA MPL and chair: finance and economic development, Eugene von Brandis, deputy Speaker Piet Pretorius and DA MPL and chair: local government Johannes Visser.
Van Rensburg said: “I will remain active in the public sector, but will serve the agricultural/public sector in a new capacity.”
Western Cape chief whip Alta Rossouw’s name also did not appear although it is understood that she did not throw her hat into the ring because of possible retirement plans.
Community Safety MEC Dan Plato is at 24 on the provincial legislature list, with his head of ministry, Mireille Wenger in 18th slot.
Plato said he was grateful that he was in the running again for a legislature position.
“I’ve been in the MEC post for two years and I’ve shown my capabilities during that time.”
Responding to his head of department’s placing on the list, Plato said: “It does not matter where on the list you are, those candidates elected are all deserving.”
Wenger said she has worked very well with the MEC for a number of years.
“The minister is a perfect gentleman and there are no tensions”
Wenger said she was “thrilled and excited to be on the list and was looking forward to serving the DA from the benches of provincial parliament” should she be elected.
Another DA member who does not feature on the provincial list is provincial Speaker Richard Majola, although he did make an appearance on the list for national deployment, at 26th spot.
A new addition to the list for provincial legislature is Worcester mayor Basil Kivedo, who is at number six on the provincial list after Helen Zille (premier candidate), Ivan Meyer, Theuns Botha, Anton Bredell and Bonginkosi Madikizela.
UWC academic Nomafrench Mbombo is at number eight and DA councillor Benedicta van Minnen at number nine.
Rounding out the top 10 is Social Development MEC Albert Fritz, just one slot ahead of former community safety MEC Mark Wiley.
The DA’s list processes were also not very favourable to former ID members, with Rodney Lentit only making 25th spot on the provincial legislature lists and Ernest Sonnenberg at 31.
Meyer said the lists were much more diverse in terms of race and gender compared to previous lists.