By SIMTHANDILE FORD and SIPHE MACANDA
An Eastern Cape ANC spin doctor has unseated a DA councillor in a ward in the Buffalo City Metro previously a stronghold of the opposition party.
The hotly contested Ward 3, which includes Southernwood, Belgravia, Selborne, Milner Estate, Stoney Drift and Braelyn Heights, is now under the control of former ANC provincial communications officer Pindile Miza.
Milner Estate, Stoney Drift and Braelyn Heights were recently amalgamated.
The DA lost lost Ward 10 which incorporates Egoli, Vergenoeg, East Bank, Fynbos, Fynbos informal settlement, a portion of Ghost Town and Beverly Hills.
Miza, who was based at the ruling party’s provincial headquarters, Calata House in King William’s Town, will now have to move to the ward full-time.
Speaking with the Daily Dispatch on receiving the news at the Independent Electoral Commission provincial results centre yesterday, Miza described his victory as “remarkable”.
“I am still putting my mind to it. I was contacted by the party agents and they informed me that indeed everything went well,” he said.
Former Ward 3 councillor Patricia Williams, who lost her seat to Miza yesterday said the results had come as a shock.
“The reason I am so shocked is because the whole day we were ahead. In the Southernwood tent my party agent said that after 6.30pm there was a bunch of students that just flocked into the tent to vote and some of the students were well branded with ANC T-shirts, ” said Williams.
The DA, however, retained seats in Beacon Bay’s Ward 4, Gonubie’s Ward 27, Vincent’s Ward 15, and Ward 19 (areas of Parkside, Buffalo Flats and Pefferville) and Ward 18 (Stirling and parts of Southernwood and Vincent).
The DA’s Marion Mackley – who retained Beacon Bay – said she was grateful to all the voters who braved the bad weather to cast their votes.
Miza clinched 47.04% of the vote while Williams only managed 34.5%. Economic Freedom Fighter Loyiso Mangisa secured 13.48%.
Commenting on what the ANC would be offering now that it has finally won the ward, Miza said he will cater to the specific needs of his constituency.
“Our community is that of mostly young people so we will need to look into a number of youth development programmes.”
He said because of the high number of students that stay in the Southernwood area, the ANC in the ward would have to focus some of its energy there.
Commenting on the victory by ANC ward councillors across the province, ANC provincial chairman Phumulo Masualle said: “The electoral victory of these comrades in these wards will be a solid foundation that the ANC will use for by-elections that will have to take place when the new councils are in place.” — firstname.lastname@example.org /email@example.com