/ 19 April 2016

Ghaleb Cachalia announced as DA’s Ekurhuleni mayoral candidate

Family and friends: Amina Cachalia with Nelson Mandela at his home in Houghton.
Family and friends: Amina Cachalia with Nelson Mandela at his home in Houghton.

The son of struggle stalwarts Yusuf and Amina Cachalia, Ghaleb Cachalia, was on Tuesday announced as the Democratic Alliance’s (DA) mayoral candidate for Ekurhuleni, cementing his exit from the African National Congress (ANC).

“I accept this DA nomination, not just because I’m leaving the ANC, but because the ANC has left me,” said Cachalia during his maiden speech in Germiston. 

Cachalia, whose struggle lineage dates back to the campaign days of Mahatma Gandhi, would lead the DA’s attempt to win the Ekurhuleni municipality which is currently run by the ANC under Mayor Mondli Gungubele. 

During his speech, Cachalia said, growing up, his parents ensured that he lived the values of the old-guard ANC, such as non-racialism and respect for the rule of law. He added that he put his faith in the ANC to provide a better life for South Africans, built on its value system.

“But sadly, after 22 years of ANC government, we have been betrayed,” said Cachalia. “The ANC has changed, and the ANC of Jacob Zuma is not the ANC of Nelson Mandela.” 

He said that South Africa’s history was being used by the ANC to divide the nation and “cover up for the failures of government”. 

Vision for Ekurhuleni
Cachalia detailed his vision for Ekurhuleni, which included the eradication of “crime and grime”, an improved relationship between police and residents, a clampdown on drug-related activity, administrative transparency, universal flush toilets, an increase in employment, and improved infrastructure.

“The time has come for us to once again find our hope and aspiration,” said Cachalia. “This is why I stand with the DA and will be campaigning as a mayoral candidate to usher in an era of DA government in Ekurhuleni.” 

He concluded by saying that throughout his life he had opposed injustice and that it was what continued to drive him, especially countering the injustices of unemployment. 

Cachalia promised that under the DA, he would – if victorious – grow the economy with the result being the creation of many jobs. “The DA will do this, because we have done it where we govern already,” he said. 

Cachalia is the second child of ANC struggle veterans to cross over to the DA this year. Former minister Steve Tshwete’s son Lindela was publicly welcomed into the opposition party on April 14. – ANA

* A previous version of this story stated Cachalia’s vision for Ekurhuleni included ‘an increase in unemployment’. This has been corrected to ‘an increase in employment’.