Former member of the Western Cape Provincial Parliament (WCPP) Bonginkosi Madikizela has announced that he will be contesting for DA provincial leader at the party’s provincial congress in November.
Madikizela, who previously held the position, resigned in April 2021 following allegations that he had misrepresented his qualifications, after only serving five months in the position.
The DA provincial congress where provincial leaders will be elected is expected to be held at the Hillsong Church building in Century City on November 11.
Madikizela said he was ready to lead the province from the front lines again.
“Our country’s challenges are getting worse, poverty, unemployment, inequality, landlessness, racial divisions and intolerance are on the rise.
We need all hands on deck to tackle them. I’ve served in the DA structures and Western Cape Government for more than 15 years to the best of my ability. In every task I was given I committed myself fully and worked tirelessly in an attempt to change the lives of our people. We (are) at a tipping point, and so often we spoke saving South Africa in the past, but 2024 presents such an opportunity.
We need passionate, experienced and visionary leaders who understand the situation faced by many people in this province and in our country,“ he said.
On questions whether he maintains his stance that the DA is not a racist party, but there are racist people within the DA, Madikizela said: “In every party there are homophobes, sexists, chauvinists and racists. These people are part of our society and it would be naive to deny they exist in an organisation that is part of that society. But DA's policies do not condone racism.”
He said there was a need for leaders who can relate to the majority of the country.
“It is because of those reasons that I accepted the call from many DA members, to avail myself to lead this province again in the upcoming Congress in November,“ Madikizela said.
UWC political analyst Keith Gothshalk said Madikizela would find it very difficult to persuade DA delegates to vote for him after the scandal that squeezed him out of office.
“Since the Western Cape is the one province which the DA rules, the stakes are higher than elsewhere for DA leaders competing for leadership positions and office,” he said.
DA councillor and sub-council chairperson in Mitchells Plain, Elton Jansen said Madikizela was the right leader for the job.
“Bongi has a track record of good leadership. He has the ability to motivate, inspire and unite the party, especially in difficult times,” he said.