Cape Town DA in for a tight mayoral race as Bonginkosi Madikizela confirms his candidacy

06 April 2021 - 18:40 By aphiwe deklerk
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DA Western Cape leader Bonginkosi Madikizela.. ​
DA Western Cape leader Bonginkosi Madikizela.. ​

The DA in Cape Town is poised for a tightly contested battle for mayor after Western Cape provincial leader Bonginkosi Madikizela confirmed he had put up his hand for the top job.

Madikizela will be going head-to-head with DA finance spokesperson Geordin Hill-Lewis and current mayor Dan Plato. Both Plato and Hill-Lewis confirmed their candidacy via a statement to the city caucus last week.

All three candidates have built up serious profiles within the DA and publicly.

TimesLIVE reported on Hill-Lewis' letter, which was accompanied by a video shot in one of Cape Town's townships.

“I am filled with admiration for the work that you do, representing the DA in wards and communities across our great city. You are the engine that makes the city work, so I wanted you to hear directly from me: I am running to be the DA’s mayoral candidate for Cape Town.

“Cape Town is an extraordinary place, rich with history, cultural diversity and natural beauty. And the DA has shown here that clean, efficient government is possible in SA. We already have much to be proud of. I am running for mayor because I believe I have the passion, drive and courage to realise the vision we all share: that Cape Town can be so much more than it already is,” he said in his letter.

Madikizela confirmed his candidature to Sunday Times Daily on Tuesday but declined to outline his message, saying the contest for mayoral candidate was an internal selection process.

“I have decided to take a decision not to campaign publicly. Personally I don't see the reason we should campaign publicly when we have to appear before the selection panel.

“We have been given the brief as we have to prepare to appear before the selection panel and the selection panel will decide,” said Madikizela.

In his own letter to the caucus Plato, who was previously seen as a Madikizela ally when he was deployed by the DA to stabilise its divided caucus after the departure of Patricia De Lille, said he was prepared to run for a full term after he had twice been at the helm as a caretaker.

Plato previously took over the reins from Helen Zille who was leaving the city to become Western Cape premier.

“I believe my familiar presence, my experience, and my intimate and long-term knowledge of local government and governance will provide the sense of continuity and calm that will be needed as we take these steps into an era of innovating in the post Covid-19 new normal.

“I have always had the courage to stay the course, to consult, to stand on principle and experience, and with the mandate of mayor 2021, we can all take these steps to victory at the polls and succeed over the next five years,” said Plato.

DA caucus insiders have told Sunday Times Daily that human settlements mayoral committee member Malusi Booi was also in the running for the post but he confirmed on Tuesday that he had withdrawn.

Western Cape DA chair Jaco Londt confirmed there were only three candidates and that they would be interviewed by the party's selection panel on Monday next week.

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