Balindlela takes Nemato by storm

ROB KNOWLES

PEOPLE POWER: Former Eastern Cape premier, Nosimo Balindlela
(centre), who recently joined the DA, visited Nemato on Tuesday evening and addressed
almost 500 people at Jauka Hall. With her are two new DA recruits, Vuyiswa
Florence Tsitsi (left) and Whitey Nobele, who had come to listen to what the
popular politician had to tell them. See story on page 15 Picture ROB KNOWLES

THERE was an unprecedented show of support for the DA in Nemato on Tuesday
night when former Eastern Cape
premier Nosimo Balindlela visited the township for the launch of two new
branches.

“Even Tata Nelson Mandela would be voting DA today,” Balindlela told the
nearly 500-strong crowd in Jauka Hall.

The diminutive politician’s arrival invoked mass cheering, ululating and
chanting as she took the microphone and delivered her address.

“I am reminded of the great Helen Suzman,” she began, “who has been largely
overlooked for the part she played in changing the South African political
structure. Hers was a voice for change, and it is time for yet another change.

“We have waited for 20 years for these changes to happen but, today, we are
no better off than we were in 1994.”

Balindlela resigned from her
position as premier of the Eastern
Cape in July 2008 following pressure from the
National Executive Committee of the ANC, of which she was a member. She
subsequently resigned from “active” politics but retained her
membership of the ANC.

In November of that year
Balindlela resigned from the ANC to join the Congress of the People and in November
2012 she joined the DA, her second change of political party.

“(Western Cape premier) Helen Zille asked me
what position I wanted in the DA. I told her I did not want a position. I just
want to make a difference,” she said.

Worried about reports of
intimidation against those who have opted to join the DA, Balindlela said that
should not happen in a democratic country.

“I am proud to be a member of the DA. I chose to join the DA by a conscious
decision. No one recruited me. The DA does not recruit members, and you have to
ask to be a member,” she said.

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