Patriotic Alliance general secretary Kenny Kunene File picture: Ian Landsberg

Cape Town - Veterans of the historic SA Cape Corps (SACC) military unit will help canvass support for the Patriotic Alliance ahead of the general elections next week, the party said on Tuesday.

“This association is highly significant as the SACC has 72 000 members in the Western Cape alone and hundreds of thousands more across South Africa,” spokesman Charles Cilliers said in a statement.

The Cape Corps and its predecessor units have a military history dating back to 1781. Based in Cape Town, its soldiers were drawn from the coloured population but were later integrated into the SA National Defence Force.

The unit served in both the First and Second World War.

Cilliers said this was the first time the SACC had openly allied itself with a political party.

“The history of these soldiers mirrors the history of the coloured people as a whole, which is why the PA is so proud to be associated with them.”

In the same statement, SACC Military Veterans Association president Lillian Wakkies said the decision to work with the PA was taken months ago.

“PA is the first party that has said and done everything we were looking for in a political organisation.

“We are urging all coloured people in South Africa who are tired of the same old promises of the other parties to stand together and support PA.”

Cilliers described the PA as a non-racial party with its roots in the coloured community. - Sapa