PORT ELIZABETH – Former Democratic Alliance (DA) Ward 1 councillor Stanford Slabbert has joined the ANC in Nelson Mandela Bay, the official opposition party in the metro announced on Tuesday.
During 2013 Slabbert was stripped of his DA membership following a party disciplinary hearing that found him guilty of circulating a racist e-mail about former president Jacob Zuma.
At the time, Slabbert had sent an e-mail claiming Zuma had more wives than brain cells.
At an ANC press conference on Tuesday, Slabbert was welcomed into the ANC ranks and said that he wanted to get back to serving the community after being un-involved in politics for a number of years.
Ward 1 in Nelson Mandela Bay will be contested in a by- election on Wednesday.
Slabbert was confident that the ANC would win and said Ward 1 had lost its way over the last three years.
Ward 1 makes up the more affluent areas of Nelson Mandela Bay which include Lakeside, Seaview, Theesecombe, Sardinia Bay, Lovemore Heights, Summerstrand and Schoenmakerskop.
The DA, the ANC, the African Christian Democratic Party (ACDP), Congress of the People (Cope) and the Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF) will all vie for control of the ward at the Nelson Mandela Bay Council which is also facing the possible removal of its DA Mayor Athol Trollip.
“I could never go back to the DA, my membership was terminated. At the time Trollip used me to make a name for himself, I was used as a political pawn.”
According to Slabbert his mistake was forwarding e-mails that were not authored by him.
Slabbert said that he chose the ANC because of a strong political force and leadership behind the party, that being newly elected President Cyril Ramaphosa.
“Going forward I think the party is going to attract a lot of people,” he said.
With his experience of seven years as a ward councillor, Slabbert will assist if successful ANC Ward 1 candidate Siviwe Ngaba, 24, who is vying for the position.
The ANC in Nelson Mandela Bay also welcomed two former members from Cope and the United Democratic Movement.
Thembelani Kondile and Sibongile Vataza said that they had decided “come home to the ANC” because of the current national leadership under Ramaphosa.
“After the great changes to the ANC, I decided this is the old ANC the ANC of Madiba. There is a vision,” said Kondile.
As far as the vote of no confidence in Trollip which is expected to be tabled at a council meeting next month, the ANC said it would support the motion “sponsored by the EFF”.
ANC Regional Chairperson, Phumzile Tshuni said the Metro under the DA-led coalition was failing and rates were at an all-time high, the highest in the country.
Tshuni called on residents to vote for the ANC, promising a renewed vision.
“The ANC is ready, there are many people that will vote for us, white people will vote for us. There are students and farm workers in Ward 1. People are realising that the DA-led coalition is failing them,” Tshuni said.
African News Agency