Bitter feud over DA defectors
THE gloves are off between the ANC and DA in Grabouw ahead of next Wednesday's ward 11 by-election.
The parties have been engaged in a bitter war of words, with the DA claiming that the ANC is engaged in a plan to bribe their councillors to resign.
The ANC on the other hand claims DA councillors are stepping down from their positions because of rampant racism in the party.
Next Wednesday's by-election follows the resignation of ward councillor Catherine Booysen, who joined the ANC. Her former party claims she was bribed to resign and also promised money and positions.
This, the DA says, is part of the ANC's "project reclaim" to wrest control of municipalities in the DA-dominated Western Cape.
DA provincial spokeswoman Mart-Marie Haasbroek said: "The ANC is trying to bribe DA ward councillors to resign their seats with promises of positions, money and other compensation to try take control of municipalities where the voters have rejected them because of their track record of failed delivery."
She said they were confident of winning.
"We are doing everything to convey the DA's message of an open opportunity society for all and remind the voters of our proven track record of good service delivery in Theewaterskloof municipality, versus the closed crony society of the ANC and its record of poor service delivery," she said.
Asked whether politics had played a role in the protest at Umyezo Wama Apile Combined School in the town, Haasbroek said: "It is unfortunate that some individuals are using the situation to drive their own political agenda after all the pupils' grievances have been addressed."
ANC regional secretary in Overberg, Themba Tebele, yesterday shot down all accusations by the DA.
"The real situation is that many DA councillors are unhappy and leaving the party because of racism," Tebele said. They were also not desperate for new members, he added.
Tebele said they were ready and also confident of winning the ward next Wednesday.
Haasbroek said: "The black townships in Grabouw are ANC strongholds. We are intensifying our door-to-door campaign in coloured areas."
Tebele also said politics did not play a role in the dispute between residents and the department of education regarding the Umyezo Wama Apile Combined School.
"The reality is that overcrowding at the school had affected the pupils and there was no effective learning and teaching there."
He added that the problem resulted in a visit to the school early this month by the ANC provincial leadership in a bid to resolve the dispute.
Booysen said: "I was never part of any project reclaim.
"We don't have a project reclaim in the ANC. I left the DA due to racism."