DA records shows another loss as Councillor Isaac Adams joined the group of prominent DA defectors welcomed by the ANC in Port Elizabeth yesterday.
Adams from ward 11 (Korsten) and three other Councillors (Penny Naidoo, Brian Kivedo and Nico du Plessis) in the northern areas received a huge “welcoming party” at the Helenvale Resource Centre as they exchanged their blue DA T-shirts for the yellow ANC T-shirts.
Former DA Ward Councillors Naidoo and Du Plessis who was under examination by the DA earlier this year after the party found him guilty of improperly sourcing a ward discretionary fund, resigned from the party last week.
In addition to the four Councillors, three other DA members – Dorothy Adams, Vincent Edgars, Neville Oosthuizen and about 100 other people in DA shirts were also handed ANC T-shirts.
The DA defectors were warmly welcomed by some ANC bigwigs including Deputy Secretary-General Jessie Duarte, National Spokesman Zizi Kodwa and Nelson Mandela Bay Mayor Danny Jordaan.
Elected spokesperson for the DA defectors, Du Plessis launched a very personal attack on Bay DA mayoral candidate Athol Trollip.
During his debut speech as an ANC member, Du Plessis could not hold the excitement as he shouted: “I have always wanted to do this – Amandla! I am so happy to be here. I have always wanted to be here.”
Announcing that he had a present for Trollip, Du Plessis took out his DA T-shirt which he had carried onto the stage.
“There is such a contrast between the mayor from Bedford (Trollip) and the mayor from Bethelsdorp (Jordaan),” Du Plessis said.
“Minority groups in South Africa have been neglected – and that’s a fact.
“But even when we are neglected, we deserve to be treated with dignity and respect … we have never heard of the ANC speaking badly to their comrades,” he said, referring to his alleged poor treatment as a DA member.
The attack became even more personal as he continued-
“The politician from Bedford is an utter disgrace. He wants all the positions in the DA.
“I am starting to believe what has been said by the workers on his farm … I am starting to believe he made his workers drink from the dam while he had clean running water, that he mistreated them,” Du Plessis said.
He also accused the DA of practicing racism in compiling its list of party representatives where coloured people barely stand a chance.
“There is no place on the list for coloureds – there are no opportunities,” Du Plessis said.
“Trollip and those kind of people were brought up to hate coloureds and black people. He treats people badly. He refers to us as incompetent and (following Du Plessis’s defection) as job-seekers.”
Deputy secretary-general Jessie Duarte encouraged the crowd to recruit more DA members and “bring them home”.
“When I look across the room I see happiness, I see that people have come home,” she said.
In his response, Trollip said last night that the DA defectors are merely unsuccessful candidates who are looking for jobs.
“This results in more competition for seats, too, and some unsuccessful candidates who stand to lose their livelihoods turn to other political parties for jobs,” Trollip said.
“Careerism has become the curse of the ANC and its recruiting of these unsuccessful candidates will exacerbate this.
Trollip declared victory for the DA in Nelson Mandela Bay in the August 3 polls, which will not be thwarted by these unsuccessful candidates.
He also added that the DA had never been stronger and their strength will not be affected by the DA defectors.