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Nats lose Pretoria after defections

FRIDAY, 8.30AM

THE National Party lost control of Pretoria City Council — once the party’s bastion — when 10 councillors including former mayors Nico Stofberg and Piet Olivier resigned from the party on Thursday. The 10 said they will join Roelf Meyer’s New Movement Process, as they “have now finally come to the conclusion that the NP can no longer be the political vehicle for achieving our political ideals”.

Pretoria was the only major metropolitan area in Gauteng still controlled by the National Party. The defections give the ANC the lead with 28 seats, to the NP’s 21 seats. Two of the ten councillors who quit will lose their seats, but the other eight who were directly elected, will hold on to them and form a pro-Meyer caucus.

The chairman of the Pretoria National Party, Fanus Schoeman, called on the ten to resign their seats in accordance with a sworn undertaking they made when they were elected as NP councillors.

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