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DA claims victory after Witzenberg vote recount

A recount by the IEC in the Witzenberg municipality has resulted in the DA gaining a crucial seat in council. Picture - File.

A recount by the IEC in the Witzenberg municipality has resulted in the DA gaining a crucial seat in council. Picture - File.

Published Dec 23, 2021


THE DA in the Western Cape is claiming victory after a vote recount saw the party gain an additional seat from the Good Party in the hotly contested Witzenberg municipality.

On Wednesday, the Electoral Commission of South Africa (IEC) carried out a court-mandated recount in two voting districts after the Electoral Court granted an order in the DA’s favour.

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Last month, the party confirmed to Weekend Argus that they would be approaching the court to petition for a recount following the November 1 local government elections.

At the time, the party had gained eight of the 23 seats in the council, followed by the ANC with seven and Good Party with two seats, while the six other smaller parties each had a seat.

IEC provincial electoral officer Michael Hendrickse confirmed that a recount was conducted after they received a court order on Friday.

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“The recount was conducted on (Wednesday) morning, and I can confirm that it did have an impact on seat allocation,” he said.

“Initially, the applicants had wanted all recounts in all 43 voting districts, but they were granted a recount for two.”

Currently, Witzenberg has an ANC speaker, Johnnery Mounton, a DA mayor, Hendrik Smit, and Good Party’s Katriena Robyn as deputy mayor.

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But the DA is gearing up for a shake-up to the council’s executive committee come next year to bring in former mayor Bernito Klaasen.

The party’s interim provincial leader Albert Fritz said the party was happy with the outcome.

“We were successful with the recount and a PR seat, which means Klaasen is from (Wednesday) a duly elected councillor and will take up his seat in January,” he said.

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“Soon after that, he will be the DA’s nomination for executive mayor. We will also put in a motion of no confidence in the ANC speaker and retain full control over Witzenberg with our coalition partners Witzenberg Party and VFP (Freedom Front Plus).

“I am glad because Klaasen is an excellent mayor and deserves to be in the mayoral seat. Our democratic rights have been restored in Witzenberg, and the DA mayor will continue to serve all the citizens in Witzenberg with dignity and humility.”

Good Party’s Shaun August said Robyn, the current deputy mayor, would be the councillor losing the seat.