By Lehlohonolo Lehana.
Western Cape Transport and Public Works MEC Bonginkosi Madikizela has been re-elected as the DA’s provincial leader after he beat legislature speaker Masizole Mnqasela in a fierce battle for control of the party.
Delegates cast their votes in favour of Madikizela at the party’s virtual provincial congress on Saturday.
Albert Fritz was elected deputy leader.
Leading up to the congress, he was accused of conspiring with gangs to assassinate Mnqasela. He was cleared on Friday after a DA investigation conducted by the federal legal commission.
Speaking after his election, Madikizela called for unity as the party heads towards next year's local government elections.
"I hope we can see, colleagues, what the members of the DA are telling us: they have come up with a team that they believe will take this province forward and we must make sure ... we unite because we don't have a choice."
"We have to unite as the party if we are serious about saving SA and if we are serious about governing the Western Cape, if we are serious about making sure that come 2021, we govern all the municipalities in the Western Cape".
He called for members to build a stable DA that would be attractive to voters, starting with by-elections to be held in the province on December 9.
Madikizela said the DA in the Western Cape has been in government for a long time and the announcement of a downgrade to junk status for the country meant it would be more difficult for the party to govern the municipalities it intends to win.
Meanwhile,the DA’s North West members also held their elective conference on Saturday.
Leon Basson was elected unopposed as the party leader in the province.
Basson was contesting for the provincial leader position, after DA provincial leader, Joe McGluwa, announced that he will not seek re-election for another term when the party elects provincial leaders.
McGluwa had served as a deputy leader and served two terms as a provincial leader. He was the DA’s North West premier candidate ahead of the May 8 general elections last year. He earlier this year took to his social media platforms to announce that he will remain a DA member and described the years he spent in DA leadership positions as an honour.
The elected team will lead the province for the next three years and lead the province into the much anticipated 2021 local government elections.