'Steady trickle' head for the DA

A number of local councillors and one member of a provincial legislature have crossed over to the Democratic Alliance (DA) since the floor-crossing window opened at midnight, DA federal chairperson James Selfe said on Saturday.

“There is a steady trickle of people to us, but it’s a trickle, not a flood, and that’s as we anticipated it,” he said.

The provincial MPL was a Federal Alliance member from the Gauteng legislature, and the rest were 15 or 20 local councillors, including a number in the Eastern Cape.

Among the early defectors to the DA was the chairperson of the African Christian Democratic Party’s Western Cape provincial executive, Johan Kriel.

He did so accompanied by a blistering attack on ACDP president Kenneth Meshoe.

‘Anointed and appointed’

“He thinks he’s president for life, anointed and appointed, and that the only one who can unappoint him is God,” Kriel, a councillor on the Southern Cape’s Overstrand municipality, said.

The chief executive of the Independent Democrats (ID), Ferlon Christians, told the South African Press Association (Sapa) at midday on Saturday that though he did not have figures, there had been more defections to the ID than away from it.

“We will only assess later today [Saturday] or tomorrow morning,” he said.

It emerged on Saturday that the ID sealed the door on Cape Town councillor Achmat Williams’ attempts to keep his seat only hours before the midnight deadline.

Williams went to court this week in a bid to postpone an internal appeal against a party decision to expel him for allegedly making approaches to the Independent Civic Organisation of South Africa.

However a Cape High Court judge ruled that the hearing should go ahead on Friday.

Though a decision on the appeal was not handed down immediately after the hearing, which ended at about noon, Christians said he did notify William’s lawyer by phone at about 4pm that it had been turned down.

The securing of Williams’ seat is a boost for the DA-led coalition in the city, which is seeking to retain its slender majority in the face of an onslaught by controversial African Muslim party councilor Badhi Chaaban.

The 15-day window allows politicians on all three tiers of government to transfer their allegiance to another party and retain their seat in Parliament, provincial legislature or municipal council.
- Sapa

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