Nqaba Bhanga announced as DA Eastern Cape premier candidate

Nqaba Bhanga will spearhead the Democratic Alliance’s battle for the “crucial” province of the Eastern Cape as the party’s premier candidate for the 2019 elections, party leader Mmusi Maimane announced on Wednesday in Port Elizabeth.

Bhanga was elected as the party’s provincial leader during the congress of May 2017. He was originally a member of the Congress of the People (Cope) but according to Maimane, he moved to the DA in 2014 after interacting with ousted Nelson Mandela Bay mayor Athol Trollip on the “urgent need for change in the province”.

Maimane said Nqaba will carry “on his shoulders the responsibility of offering the people of this province a realistic alternative to the ANC government.”

“At 41 years of age, Nqaba is part of a new generation of DA leaders who bring with them the energy and the vision to rebuild our country after decades of misrule under the ANC,” Maimane said.

The challenges of the Nelson Mandela Bay metro

The party has spent the past two weeks in the province trying to salvage its position in the Nelson Mandela Bay metro following coalition challenges.

The DA has been accused by its coalition partners — the EFF and the United Democratic Movement (UDM) — of arrogance for allegedly making decisions on governance issues in the metro without consulting them.

In turn, the DA has lashed out at the UDM for allowing itself to be used in what it describes an EFF-ANC “coalition of corruption”.

Trollip was removed from his position during a contentious council meeting last week and was replaced by the UDM’s Mongameli Bobani.

After the meeting, Bhanga lashed out at the opposition parties, accusing them of cooperating to “fill their coffers” ahead of the 2019 elections.

“This decision by the unholy alliance of the ANC, EFF and UDM is in order to fill their own party coffers with public funds and bring looting back ahead of the 2019 elections. The ANC and the EFF have rejected the will of the people in favour of enriching themselves,” he said.

READ MORE: Trollip ousted in ‘sham’ council meeting

Maimane confirmed that the DA would file court papers to review Trollip’s removal and have it declared invalid and Trollip remains adamant that he is still the mayor.

READ MORE: DA to launch urgent court bid to challenge Trollip removal

These are unprecedented times, and the role of media to tell and record the story of South Africa as it develops is more important than ever. But it comes at a cost. Advertisers are cancelling campaigns, and our live events have come to an abrupt halt. Our income has been slashed.

The Mail & Guardian is a proud news publisher with roots stretching back 35 years. We’ve survived thanks to the support of our readers, we will need you to help us get through this.

To help us ensure another 35 future years of fiercely independent journalism, please subscribe.


ANC wants pension funds to finance infrastructure build

The party released its plan for the reconstruction of the country’s post-coronavirus economy on Friday. This would involve changes to Regulation 28 of the Pension Funds Act

The case against Floyd Shivambu

The flow of money from VBS Bank would seem to suggest that the EFF’s second-in-command was an ultimate beneficiary of proceeds of a crime

Cabinet reshuffle rumours: Unlikely to happen any time soon, but…

Persistent rumours of a cabinet reshuffle may be jumping the gun, but they do reflect the political realignment taking place within the ANC

Nigeria’s anti-corruption boss arrested for corruption

Ibrahim Magu’s arrest by the secret police was a surprise — but also not surprising

press releases

Loading latest Press Releases…

The best local and international journalism

handpicked and in your inbox every weekday