DA claims ‘stunning growth’ after by-elections: Daily Dispatch

THE Democratic Alliance in the province claims to have grown its support following this week’s municipal by-elections, despite failing to take control of the Kouga municipality.

The municipality was the most contested in the province’s four byelections which had the ANC fielding its mayor, Booi Koerat, in a bid to prevent the DA winning control of the municipality.

Despite the setback, DA provincial leader Athol Trollip said his party had grown its support significantly following the elections.

He attributed this to hard work done on the ground which saw the number of votes grow, even in municipalities such as Mnquma, in Transkei.

On Wednesday, four ward byelections were contested in the province.

The DA contested three, two in Kouga and one in Mnquma.

In a statement yesterday, Trollip said: “Yesterday the Democratic Alliance swept to victory in Ward 5 in the Kouga municipality.

“We showed stunning growth in Ward 9 of the same municipality where we grew from 33% of the vote to 44% in the face of desperate intimidation by the ANC.

“In Ward 2 in Mnquma, the result was particularly exciting, where we grew from 8.7 % of the vote to 21%,” said Trollip.

He alleged that ANC supporters intimidated voters in Kouga by frequently blocking roads to prevent voters going to polls.

However, provincial ANC election’s head in the province, Mlibo Qoboshiyane, denied claims of intimidation.

“I think Trollip isn’t differentiating between robust election campaigning and intimidation.” — aphiwed@dispatch.co.za