149 13.01.2014 Democratic Alliance (DA) Premier candidate for Gauteng, Mmusi Maimane brief the media on the next phase of his election campaign. Maimane outline the strategy of the next 10 weeks for the campaign and preview his manifesto for Gauteng in Rosebank Holiday Inn, Rosebank. Picture: Motshwari Mofokeng

Johannesburg - The Democratic Alliance on Saturday announced its premier and Parliamentary candidates ahead of the 2014 elections.

Party leader Helen Zille, was again nominated to be the premier of the Western Cape.

Mmusi Maimane, who has been at the forefront for the party in Gauteng, was elected to head the province.

Speaking at a media briefing in Johannesburg, Zille said the DA had its eye on winning in Gauteng.

Andrew Louw was nominated as the Northern Cape premier candidate.

Zille said her party had recognised significant growth in the province.

Patricia Kopane was nominated as the Free State premier candidate and Chris Hattingh was again nominated as North West's premier candidate.

Sizwe Mchunu was nominated as the premier candidate in KwaZulu-Natal.

Athol Trollip was nominated as the Eastern Cape candidate, Langa Bodlani in Limpopo, and Anthony Benadie in Mpumalanga.

Zille said the party had received over 1432 applications from aspirant candidates.

“This is evidence of the DA's enormous growth over the last few years and the desire for change across South Africa,” she said.

While some of the candidates had emerged through the party, the DA welcomed some members who had come from other political parties.

Nosimo Balindlela, who was among those present for the candidacy announcement in Johannesburg, had served as an Eastern Cape premier under the ANC from 2002-2007. She left the ANC and joined the Congress of the People where she served as a MP for the party until 2012. She was now a prospective candidate who could hold a position within the DA.

Brigadier Pule Thole, an SA Police Service member who was also a candidate, was welcomed into the DA. He indicated there was a possibility of him resigning to fully serve in the party.

Ricardo Mackenzie who was a director in the Presidency during former president Thabo Mbeki's time in office and Sport Minister Fikile Mbalula's former private secretary, also joined the party.

“He has been a committed member of the ANC most of his life, but in recent times has come to believe that it is the DA that offers the best hope for the future of SA,” said Zille.

While hundreds of names were listed on the various candidacy lists, some names had been left off the list because they were “confidential candidates”.

Zille said the party wanted to give the candidates a decent time period to inform their employers and serve their notices.

“Others however, may remove their names from the list,” said Zille.

Sharing her personal opinion, Zille said she believed that journalists should not be members of political party's.

Zille herself is a former journalist.

“I agree that you can't be a member of a political party and a journalist,” she said.

“I believe that being a member of a political party is incompetent with some professions.”

Zille said she believed most journalists were politically affiliated to some parties, and this was evident through their writing.

In November, it was alleged that several journalists had submitted their names for the DA's Parliament list.

On Friday, Independent Newspapers said senior journalist Donwald Pressly who was the Business Report's Cape Town bureau chief, had been suspended for allegedly applying to be on a political party's list of Parliamentary candidates for the general election.

“Mr Pressly did this without informing his editor, and while continuing to write news as well as opinion and analysis on the said political party without declaring his political intentions to our readers,” group executive editor Karima Brown said in a statement.

Pressly's attorney, Michael Bagraim told Sapa his client had been honest about his political affiliation and had admitted to belonging to the DA.

In November, Business Day reported that Sunday Times executive editor Brendan Boyle was suspended after allegedly applying to become a DA MP.

It reported that Boyle sent his curriculum vitae, which was later withdrawn, to the party as part of his application. - Sapa