DA provincial leader Bonginkosi Madikizela and MEC of Economic Opportunities Alan Winde (above) will duke it out to become the party’s Western Cape premier candidate. Picture: Armand Hough/African News Agency

Cape Town - DA provincial leader Bonginkosi Madikizela and MEC of Economic Opportunities Alan Winde will duke it out to become the party’s Western Cape premier candidate ahead of next year’s elections.
The deadline for submissions for all interested parties closed on Friday evening, paving the way for a month-long process that will end with a candidate nominated by the party to fill the shoes of Premier Helen Zille, who has held the position for two terms.

Provincial campaign director Anthony Benadie said at this stage they would not divulge who had put their names forward until a thorough vetting process had been completed.

“Applications have been received and once closing time arrives, only then can a vetting process start to ensure that all the candidates are indeed members in good standing.

“Once that is completed, the party can announce the candidates,” he said.

“The vetting process covers everything from what the party wishes to determine from each of the candidates, if there are any problems, applications are correctly filled out. The selection panel will be sitting and then the proposed candidates will be referred to the federal executive and, once that has happened, a final announcement will be made, a process that takes about a month.”

In the coming weeks, a 20-person selection panel that is made up of 10 federal executive members and 10 provincial executive members will weed out suitable candidates during vetting and interview processes.

While both Madikizela and Winde have confirmed they have put their names forward for the position, other candidates said to have been in the running include MEC of Social Development Albert Fritz and MEC for Local Government Anton Bredell.

Winde has been a member of the Western Cape Provincial Legislature since 1999 and served as Cape provincial finance chairperson and executive committee member during his first term.

“I’ve been in government, in executive office for a second term and I think I've built a solid track record,” he said.

“Too often in our country, too many people are happy to moan and groan and not step up to the plate so I am stepping up.”

Madikizela, who has risen through the ranks of the party since joining a little more than 10 years ago to become its provincial leader, said: “I think my background speaks for itself. My experience in the current portfolio has exposed me to those sort of things as well as someone who comes from a similar background, and that is why I think it's important that over and above the strong economy we need to build to deal with those sort of issues, we need a premier who is socially inclined and who understands these issues intimately in order to deal with them,” he added.

“The premier must embody that caring value. People want to see us at their funerals, weddings and their parties - we are often accused of being a party that is aloof.”

Madikizela was investigated by the legislature’s conduct committee last year for failing to declare a R3000 birthday cake when the legislature's rules dictate that all gifts over R1500 be declared.

Weekend Argus