Western Cape DA Leader Bonginkosi Madikizela and Truman Prince, of the ANC, share a joke during the by-election in Ward 7, Beaufort West , on Wednesday. Picture: Ayanda Ndamane
Beaufort West - The ANC’s Truman Prince says he may be down, but he’s certainly not out.

The former mayor of the Karoo town’s comments followed the party’s defeat in this week’s by-elections.

The ANC had been hoping to reclaim control of the Beaufort West Municipality.

The DA won Ward 7 with 56.9% (1724 votes), followed by the ANC with 1251 and the EFF with 52 votes. Tensions were high in the small Karoo town all week, with ANC and DA supporters campaigning vigorously.

More than 4000 people were registered to vote across five voting districts that make up the ward.

It followed the resignation of the ward’s former councillor, Djorge Malooi, who also stepped in as the municipality’s mayor.

That was in February - just five months into the job.

The ANC first lost control of the key municipality in the Central Karoo District during last year’s local government elections when the DA went into a coalition agreement with the Karoo Democratic Force (KDF).

Last year, the DA and ANC secured six seats in the Beaufort West council.

A coalition with the KDF, which had one seat, resulted in the DA taking control of the municipality.

Malooi’s resignation meant the DA was left with five seats in the council, while the ANC had six.

A win for the ANC would have resulted in it taking control of the municipality and, ultimately, the district.

Prince, who hoped to become mayor once again, was humble in defeat. He described it as “a minor setback”.

“For every setback you must take a step back because God is setting you up for a comeback.

“We accept the outcome of these elections, but there were a lot of discrepancies during voting which we would like to raise with the IEC,” he told Weekend Argus.

“But as for Truman, I am a professional politician. If God looks after his creatures he will look after me because I am his creation.

“I am still Truman Prince. I am still a leader in my community and I will be a vigorous opposition to the DA in the council and hold them to account.

“I have taken a lot of knocks in life, but I will emerge from this as well. I believe there will be another by-election in Beaufort West and I will stand again.

“I may be down, but I am not out.”

Prince blamed his party’s defeat on its inability to reach voters in voting districts in farming communities.

The party’s Speaker in the council, Euna Wentzel, said: “We (the DA) are very happy with the outcome of the by-election, but happier that we can finally start making headway in ensuring we deliver services to the people of Beaufort West.”

“Since the resignation of Mr Malooi on February 28 we have been unable to agree on anything with the ANC and now we can move forward and continue the work that we began last year after winning the municipality.

“We are thankful to the people of Beaufort West who trusted us with their votes and we will continue to make sure that services are delivered to those in need.”

The DA has seven days to announce a new mayor.

It is being tight-lipped about possible candidates.

Meanwhile, the deputy mayor, Daleen Slabbert, will continue to act in the executive mayor role.

Weekend Argus