CAPE TOWN – A former ANC ward councillor in Philippi has crossed the floor in the wake of the Municipal Elections, taking over 200 of his supporters with him, further strengthening the DA’s power in the City of Cape Town.
Ward 33 councillor Nico Mzalisi, who was the incumbent ANC ward councillor up until August 3, officially announced his move to the DA at a community meeting on Saturday 13 August, and was officially accepted into the DA fold on the Monday.
Mzalisi obtained 17.31% of the ward vote in this month’s Municipal Elections, which he contested as an independent candidate, while ANC candidate Sithembiso Mzoba was elected with 65.58% of the vote.
He said he decided to join the DA because he felt mistreated by the ANC during his time as ward councillor. In January this year, GroundUp reported on the internal ward conflict between Mzalisi and his predecessor, Monwabisi Mbaliswano.
Ward 33 resident Vuyiseka Madela, who supported Mzalisi’s contestation as and independent candidate, said prior to the elections, Mzalisi addressed his supporters to inform them the DA had approached him, and asked for their mandate on whether he should join the DA or stand as an independent.
Madela said the majority of his supporters wanted him to contest as an independent but since he did not garner enough votes to return to office following the elections, they backed his move to the DA.
“The ANC won the ward but the independent candidate, which is Nico (Mzalisi) came second. We all knew that we couldn’t go back to the ANC so when the DA approached him again to be the PR councillor, we supported it, as we can see that only the DA can look after the interests of the community,” said Madela.
“The ANC doesn’t care about us. We have been saying that for a very long time but because we were loyal, we tolerated them. Now the DA promised to bring us services which they say have always been held up by ANC councillors who wanted to make the DA government look bad.”
DA Western Cape spokesperson Anneke Scheepers said they are happy with Mzalisi’s move and were surprised by the number of supporters who followed him to the DA.
“When we made the arrangements to welcome the new members we prepared for 150 people, but more than 200 people came,” said Scheepers. -- Unathi Tuta