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Winde officially becomes Western Cape premier – but not without ANC drama

Winde officially becomes Western Cape premier – but not without ANC drama
File Photo: Then Western Cape MEC for economic opportunities Alan Winde has been announced as the Democratic Alliance's candidate for premier by DA leader Mmusi Maimane in Cape Town, 19 September 2018. Photo: Leila Dougan

Members of the Western Cape legislature were sworn in on Wednesday morning, and as expected Alan Winde was sworn in as premier – but not without the ANC’s nomination of Cameron Dugmore as premier. One thing clearly stood out on Wednesday: a long, often blame-game campaign for control of the province would go down to the last minute in voting in of the premier.

Following a long campaign since September 2018, Alan Winde was formally inaugurated as Western Cape premier on Wednesday afternoon, becoming the second DA premier in the province, following the reign of Helen Zille who held the position for two five year terms from 2009.

With a 55% majority, the DA held on to the province  which was the site of much contestation ahead of the 8 May national and provincial elections. The ANC is the official opposition, under the leadership of Cameron Dugmore.

Seat allocation of the Western Cape provincial legislature

The election of premier, speaker and deputy speaker did not go smoothly for the DA, as the official opposition in the legislature, the ANC decided to field candidates of their own for these positions. The DA employed a similar strategy in the National Assembly where it is the opposition.

Cameron Dugmore, Patronella Lekker and Lulama Mvimbi were nominated by ANC MPLs for the position of premier, speaker and deputy speaker respectively. Ultimately the positions, based on majority votes went to Winde, Masixole Mnqasela and Beverley Schäfer.

New EFF MPLs Melikhaye Xego and Nosipho Makamba-Botya as well as sole ACDP MPL, Ferlon Christians abstained from voting for the speaker and deputy speaker of the legislature. Christians, the former chair of the Public Accounts committee within the legislature, also chose to abstain from the voting of Dugmore or Winde as premier.

Winde was voted in as premier with 24 votes, while Dugmore received 10 votes. There were six spoiled ballots and one abstention.

Meanwhile, the ANC’s head of elections Ebrahim Rasool chose not to take up his seat in the legislature.

In a statement sent out as the vote for premier was underway, Rasool said: “When I was asked to lead the Elections Campaign of the African National Congress (ANC) in the Western Cape Province, it was never with the intention to return to the Western Cape Provincial Legislature, but simply to help stem the ANC’s slide in the province and rebuild trust and excitement behind the renewal project headed by President Cyril Ramaphosa in the Western Cape. Anything more would be a bonus.”

Rasool’s seat on the ANC bench will go to the next person on the party’s list – Ayanda Bans.

Winde is expected to hit the ground running, by announcing his new provincial Cabinet on Thursday. Three new names are expected to replace MPLs who have been deployed in other capacities or, like Transport and Public Works MEC Donald Grant, have declined their legislature seats. DM



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