Patricia De Lille announcing her new political party. Picture: Courtney Africa/African News Agency (ANA)
Cape Town - A year in politics can feel like a lifetime given the speed at which things can happen. Here are a few newsworthy moments in politics around the Western Cape:

The game of musical chairs in municipalities

The DA took a beating this past year when it came to control of municipalities.

The party lost their hard-won seat in Beaufort West when they unseated long-term mayor, Truman Prince, following a crucial by-election and elected Japie van der Linde.

But his position was short-lived when the Karoo Democratic Force fell out of bed with the DA and joined forces with the ANC to elect KDF president Noel Constable as mayor and ushered in the return of Prince as deputy mayor.

Defiant DA mayors

During the whole commotion over motions of no confidence, Knysna gained a new mayor after two DA councillors voted in favour of an ANC motion to oust their own mayor.

Newly elected mayor, Mark Willemse ruffled a few feathers within the higher ranks of his own party when he refused to step down.

He again stood up against the party when he appealed a disciplinary committee’s finding that he was guilty of misconduct by approaching the appeal committee which exonerated him.

George mayor, Melvin Naik, more than ruffled feathers when he disapproved of a planned performance by the Boston Gay Men’s Choir because of his beliefs.

Tony takes a bow

After two decades, serving six terms in office at Cosatu, Tony Ehrenreich announced he would not be standing for re-election earlier this year.

The 56-year-old first joined Cosatu in 1989 and went on to become its national deputy general-secretary from 1991 to 2001.

Provincial legislature

MPL Lennit Max resigned as DA member and gave up his seat, which be held for a number of years, after he was appointed special adviser to Police Minister Bheki Cele.

Premier Helen Zille reshuffled her cabinet following the departure of MEC for Community Safety, Dan Plato, to become mayor of Cape Town.

In March, the Western Cape government commissioned a new study to check on the viability of enforcing an added fuel levy for the province, but eight months later, MEC for Finance Ivan Meyer announced that this would be scrapped after multiple fuel hikes.

Drama over DA premier candidate

Nobody can forget the awkward moment when it was revealed that DA leader, Mmusi Maimane, was being “considered” for the position of premier candidate for Western Cape.

The party ultimately named Alan Winde as Zille’s would-be successor after a rather embarrassing withdrawal by Maimane.


The ruling party has not been without their fair share of drama. Although the party has preached unity since the election of President Cyril Ramaphosa, some battles continue within the party.

The lead up to regional conferences was marred by battles over the legitimacy of memberships of some of the delegates elected to go to conference questioned.

This led to several court applications at the Western Cape High Court, which at first sought to have the Dullah Omar conference interdicted and when that failed, members sought to have the results of the conference nullified.

Weekend Argus