Cape Town – The DA provincial congress is over, but a bitter legal battle may be underway for newly elected leader Bonginkosi Madikizela and his former challenger Masizole Mnqasela over an alleged murder plot.
On Saturday, the party held its provincial convention where as many as 1,000 delegates across the Western Cape voted for provincial leadership.
Madikizela emerged victorious with a majority vote over three other candidates; he will now occupy a second term.
MEC for Community Safety Albert Fritz was re-elected Deputy Chief, Jaco Londt elected Provincial President, and three Provincial Vice-Presidents are JP Smith, Grant Twigg and Geordin Hill-Lewis, and Provincial Finance President is Eric Marais.
However, the challenge for the top post was marred by allegations that Madikizela attempted to assassinate Mnqasela, who is the president of the provincial legislature.
A whistleblower allegedly witnessed a meeting where Madikizela handed over a bag of money to gangsters who would kill her opponent.
On the eve of Congress, both sides made scathing statements, throwing verbal punches at each other and defying each other to prosecute for the alleged murder plot.
The internal party structure cleared Madikizela of any wrongdoing, paving the way for Saturday’s congress. Madikizela said he would take his opponent to court.
Mnqasela retaliated, “It has been almost a month since I heard him say he was going to send subpoenas and that he was going to sue me. It was October 27, so the statement he sends (Friday) about a trial is a repeat of what he told me in a letter and I’m still waiting for the papers.
“If Madikizela has reason to dispute what the whistleblower or what I have said, I challenge him to follow the law to resolve the dispute in a clean way.”
Mnqasela did not open a police case but said his lawyers were busy with the case.
After his victory, Madikizela declined to comment on any legal action, saying he wanted to focus on his victory and would assess the matter on Monday.
However, while delivering his speech to delegates during the congress, he delivered a scathing speech about the direction the party needs to take in the face of internal strife.
“After that, in Congress, we will need to refocus our attention on our constituents and improve service delivery,” he said.
“But we have to deal with the toxic culture of intimidation, threats, fear, revenge, smear campaigns and character assassinations from people who claim to be leaders, because if we don’t do not, it will destroy us. We need to unite our caucuses to start focusing on the outside, where it matters.
“We need to work harder for the 2021 local elections to regain the lost confidence of our voters.”
ANC leader in the legislature, Cameron Dugmore, said: “It is clear that the preferred candidate of the conservative DA cabal has won. This victory will not heal the deep divisions within the AD.
“I would like to congratulate Madikizela on her re-election and urge her to use her position to build unity in the province. He needs to break free from the Zille cabal and do the right thing. However, we cannot ignore the allegations before this conference of assassination plots against the speaker. We will therefore write to the speaker on Monday and ask that these allegations be considered as a matter of public importance under the rules. “
Political analyst Zweli Ndevu said Madikizela’s victory came as no surprise given the support he enjoys from senior party leaders.
“Madikizela’s victory signifies the continuation of Zille and Steenhuisen’s tale, while Mnqasela (would have meant) an opposing point of view. However, virtually nothing will change.
Ndevu said Mnqasela’s victory could have created tension within the party given the murder plot allegations.
“This is the first time in the history of the party. I am convinced that it was a desperate attempt on his part to discourage Madikizela and create doubt about the process, ”he added.
Analyst Daniel Silke said: “While it is not known what impact these soap opera accusations have had on the internal dynamics of the party, it is important to stop these back stabs and struggles. intestines.
“But the DA needs to find a constructive message for voters and present its policies and the new leadership of Steenhuisen and other provincial leaders and make it accessible and attractive to voters.
“The party has been strained in recent years as voters chose to give their votes to other small parties because they were unhappy. Their challenge is to win back lost voters and attract new ones. “