Stellenbosch latest council to fall to ANC-NNP coalition

Stellenbosch latest council to fall to ANC-NNP coalition

15 October 2002

Welcoming the announcement today that the Stellenbosch Council has now also fallen to the ANC-NNP coalition, ANC Western Cape Provincial Chairperson Ebrahim Rasool said it saves the province the embarrassment of bringing the entire ANC and its national leadership to a town under DA-control.

"Imagine the whole world with international guests, ambassadors, leaders of across the spectrum of South African society and the entire national leadership coming here ­ how would we explain to them that the council was still under DA control?," said Rasool.

Rasool, Provincial Secretary Mcebisi Skwatsha and ANC Stellenbosch Councillors at noon today attended a mini-rally with NNP Leader and Premier Marthinus van Schalkwyk and senior NNP leaders.

The announcement of four councillors crossing the floor to the NNP was made on the same steps of the Town Hall where DA leader Tony Leon last week proclaimed that the DA will "never lose Stellenbosch to the ANC-NNP coalition".

Councillors Willie Ortel, Gilbert Adonis, Beyers Truter and Sampie van der Merwe today officially announced that they have re-joined the NNP.

In a joint statement the four said they did so because they believe in the vision of the NNP ­ constructive and inclusive governance. "We cannot stand the destructive leadership of Tony Leon any longer," the four said.

"Today Stellenbosch chooses co-operation against isolation. The days of "fight-back" are over. Our country needs re-building and constructive co-operation. We are excited about the stable and positive ANC-NNP governance in the province."

The four have called on other councillors to join them in the interest of the country.

A crowd of about 300, waving ANC and NNP flags and wearing the t-shirts of both parties, welcomed the councillors.

The crowd displayed a black coffin depicting DA leaders Leon and Gerald Morkel, symbolising "the death of the DAS".

Said NNP Leader van Schalkwyk: "Five days ago Tony Leon staked his reputation and his credibility on his statement that the DA would never lose Stellenbosch. Today a number of councillors have joined the NNP ­ making it possible to end the DP/DA¹s mismanagement and misrule of Stellenbosch.

"It is quite clear that the DP/DA leadership has lost touch with the reality. South Africa is witnessing one of the fastest meltdowns of a political party our history has ever seen," said Mr van Schalkwyk.

Rasool said the coalition will take over power "not to use it for ourselves, but to use it to build a better life for our poor people".

"The DA has wasted two years of being in power. They have abused that power to drive a racial wedge between our people. They have abused that power to drive our people to further poverty.

"This coalition wants to build on the foundations laid by (former Presidents) Nelson Mandela and FW de Klerk. This coalition wants to build non-racialism and fight poverty.

"We are building a new future for Stellenbosch in which we can all work together in the interest of our country.

"Tony Leon must learn never to say "never". He must have a re-look at his arrogance and change the name of his party to the Death Alliance," Rasool said.

Issued by:
African National Congress - Western Cape

For further enquiries contact:
ANC Provincial Media Officer Gert Witbooi 082-570-9118