Boesak embraces hundreds of defectors from DA

The Congress of the People has poached hundreds of DAmembers in the Western Cape town of Robertson, the party's provincial premier candidate Allan Boesak claimed yesterday.

The Congress of the People has poached hundreds of DAmembers in the Western Cape town of Robertson, the party's provincial premier candidate Allan Boesak claimed yesterday.

"Eight hundred DA members and their leadership from the Breede River Valley district have joined Cope," he said in Cape Town, waving in the air a thick wad of DA membership cards.

Flanking him, DA branch secretary for Robertson, Nonkosi Sofika, told journalists that the community she represents had been waiting for a party such as Cope.

Speaking through an interpreter, she said from 1986, most people in her town had supported the ANC, but they had become disillusioned with the ruling party and last year signed up with the DA.

"But we were fully aware the DA was not our best hope, but we joined because the ANC did not care for us.

"We went to the DA out of anger, but were waiting for a party that would truly represent us," she said.

Earlier, in Afrikaans, she said the DA "was not our place, it was not our home," adding that the party in her town was "full of apartheid."

Boesak said the movement of so many people to his party in the province showed Cope represented "an element in South African politics that hasn't been there for a long time".

Cope plans a public meeting in Robertson today to welcome the new members.

Boesak also said the national leadership of the Independent Civic Organisation of SA was urging its members to vote for Cope.

Questioned about reports of Cope members returning to the ANC, Boesak said this involved "a small handful of people". - Sapa

X