Picture: Tshego Lepule/Weekend Argus

Cape Town - Hundreds of Democratic Alliance delegates are preparing to cast their votes to elect the party’s next provincial leader.

Members have gathered at the Every Nation Church in Goodwood on Saturday morning for the party’s provincial congress.

There MEC for housing and incumbent interim leader, Bonginkosi Madikizela will go head-to-head with MPL Lennit Max for the position of party leader in the Western Cape.

Party leader, Mmusi Maimane is also in attendance to give the main speech during the event and received a hero’s welcome with party members singing and dancing.

Around 992 delegates will be casting their votes for positions of leader while the deputy leader position is being contested by Albert Fritz who is supported by Madikizela and Masizole Mnqasela who is on Max’s ticket.

The position for provincial chairperson will be chosen between Anton Bredell and Anroux Marais.

Embattled Mayoral Committee Member for Safety and Security, JP Smith is one of ten candidates vying for the position of deputy provincial chairperson.

Even though he was suspended from party activities earlier this week, Smith cast an early vote this morning and still eligible to stand for the position.

Smith and City of Cape Town Patricia de Lille were both suspended over a public spat over the disbanding of the city’s investigative unit by De Lille.

LISTEN: DA suspends De Lille, Smith

At the congress the mood is jovial as both contenders for the top position say they are confident on a positive outcome following weeks of vigorous campaigning.
Madikizela said he was nervous but hopeful for a good outcome.

“Well it is human nature to be nervous, this is a very big congress, the biggest we have ever had but I am quite confident that the delegates will make the right decision. And the only right decision will be to vote for me as their leader,” he said.

His opponent, Max said:  “I am very feeling very positive, given my own summation and today the people do what they have promised then I will make it,” he said.

“Yes I am anxious to get the results, to talk to the people and get on with the work. I did what I was supposed to do [during campaigns] it is now up to the delegates to decide who they want leading them.”

Weekend Argus