By: Staff Reporter
The Patriotic Alliance (PA) emerged on Wednesday as the biggest disruptor to the political status quo in by-elections in Johannesburg.
The party dealt a massive blow to the Democratic Alliance in Eldorado Park’s two wards, 17 and 18, which had previously been DA strongholds. In Ward 18, where the DA received nearly 82% of the vote in 2016, the PA’s Juwairiya Smith raked in 3,572 votes, a massive 2,304 more than the second-placed DA. The ANC only managed 653 votes.
It was a similar, but more closely contested, story in Ward 17, where former DA councillor Peter Rafferty raked in 2,304 votes for the PA and relegated the DA to second place with 1,585. The ANC managed 872 votes.
In the only other ward the PA was contesting, Ennerdale’s Ward 7, the ANC took the ward from the DA, which ended up playing second fiddle to the PA once again. The DA could only manage 701 votes, with the PA’s Neville Louw getting 1,928. The ANC’s 2,222 were enough for victory.
PA NEC member Kenny Kunene thanked the people of Kliptown, Pimville, Eldorado Park, Finetown and Ennerdale for the “enormous support” they had given the PA. He also questioned the legitimacy of the ANC’s victory in Ennerdale, as the PA had allegedly witnessed the busing in of voters from outside the ward, primarily from Orange Farm and Palm Springs.
“It’s the usual ANC tricks,” he said adding that “it’s fine, we’ll see them again in the local government elections when it won’t be so easy to bus people around. People will have to vote in the wards where they live.”
The ANC in the Greater Johannesburg region said it was “humbled” by its electoral win and said this represented a clear rejection by voters of the DA-EFF administration that had previously ruled under Herman Mashaba.
On Thursday morning, Mashaba announced he would be running as Joburg mayor once again under the banner of his own party, ActionSA.
ANC regional spokesperson Sasabona Manganye said in a statement: “The DA has dismally and grimly performed in Wards 7, 17 and 18, a clear demonstration that the people of South Africa are preparing a coffin which the DA shall be buried in the 27 October 2021 local government elections.”
The PA and ANC have had a tense relationship since the ANC opted to remove the PA from the coalition government in Johannesburg last year.
The PA succeeded through a high court interdict application in stopping this move from the ANC, although the ANC’s mayor, Geoff Makhubo, still went ahead with a decision to hand the department of economic development in the city to the Congress of the People.
Makhubo stands accused of serious corruption involving his business dealings with the Guptas’ controversial Regiments Capital and IT company EOH.
The PA lodged a criminal case against him in February, and the DA this week announced it intended to do the same following his second appearance at the state capture commission.
The DA said it was clear from Makhubo’s testimony that he had taken bribes in return for influencing City contracts.