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Defections cost 80 000 votes - DA

Published Sep 2, 2005


By Alameen Templeton

Gauteng's Democratic Alliance says its two MPL "crosstitutes" who have crossed the floor to reconstitute the Federal Alliance have "bought their seats on the cheap".

The DA and the Independent Democrats were the only parties in the province affected by Thursday's opportunity for politicians to change alliances.

ID deputy chairperson Professor Themba Sono departed to establish himself as an independent MPL.

ANC spokesperson Hope Papo said the party's dominance in the province, where it has a 68 percent majority, meant its members were happy where they were.

DA provincial treasurer Brian Goodall said the defection by Gerrie Wolmarans and Nelia Pluddemann had effectively cheated 80 000 voters out of their democratic rights.

The party had calculated that each seat in the provincial legislature had about 40 000 votes behind it, which meant the two defectors were taking 80 000 election votes with them.

Goodall said he believed the floor-crossing exercises were causing disillusionment among voters and, along with repeated stories of corruption in government, were causing widespread apathy ahead of voter registration on Saturday.

Wolmarans and Pluddemann had been given seats in the DA following a pre-election agreement with the Federal Alliance not to contest the elections in Gauteng.

Their decision now to leave and form a party that had not even contested last year's election was an outrage, Goodall added.

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