DA councillor off to parliament

Mkhululi Ndamase

THE No1 on the DA’s Eastern Cape list of candidates to be deployed to parliament after the general elections wants to use his position to raise issues critical to the province and Nelson Mandela Bay.

No matter how many seats the party manages to get, Nelson Mandela Bay councillor Andrew Whitfield is guaranteed a position as a Member of Parliament.

On Saturday, DA leader Helen Zille said 1432 aspirant candidates had originally applied. “Confidential candidates” will be announced before the elections.

In an interview yesterday, Whitfield, 31, said he would raise the Bay and the province’s critical issues.

“We need to raise the Eastern Cape flag as high as possible and also to raise the critical issues we face here in Nelson Mandela Bay.

“I don’t believe the IPTS [Integrated Public Transport System] has had enough national emphasis on it. We need to talk more about tourism because we can unlock a lot of opportunities by expanding tourism.

“Being an MP will mean a lot of travelling back and forth, but I am a man of the Eastern Cape and my heart will always be in the Eastern Cape. I am sure I will die here one day,” he joked.

“I am incredibly happy, humbled and blessed to be No 1 on the list. We need to work harder as much as possible. My position on that list is testament to the hard work I have put in over the last four years.”

Former Eastern Cape premier Nosimo Balindlela made the national list at No 2 and Nelson Mandela Bay Ward 8 councillor Gustav Rautenbach is No 11 on the national list.

Ward 40 councillor Vicky Knoetze made the provincial list at No 5, while ward 10 councillor Marshall von Buchenroder slots in at 16.

Rautenbach said yesterday: “I feel honoured and privileged for the party to have confidence in me to put me on the list. I believe in the party’s policies and I believe we are on the right track. This is a great opportunity and I am absolutely looking forward to the challenges.”

DA Youth federal chairman Yusuf Cassim, who beat seasoned politicians to be placed No 8 on the national list, said he was not surprised because “I applied last year and went through the various processes”.

Bay proportional representation councillor Bobby Cekisani also made the MP candidates’ list at No 14. EP cricket boss Malcolm Figg, also on the MP list, said yesterday: “I still have to make some decisions in my life in the next couple of days.”

Kevin Mileham, Terri Stander, Annette Steyn, Annette Lovemore, a confidential candidate, Figg,Elizabeth van Lingen, Ntombenhle Rulumeni, Petrus de Wet and Phoka Tlali made it onto the list of 15 MP candidates. And there were no surprises on the list of candidates for the Eastern Cape legislature with Athol Trollip nominated as the premier.

DA provincial spokeswoman Veliswa Mvenya, MPL Bobby Stevenson, Edmund van Vuuren, Knoetze, Ross Purdon, Lionel Lindoor, Jacobus Botha, Celeste Barker, Dorah Matikinca, Karen Smith, Haddon, John Cupido, Thabisa Mafanya, Rene Oosthuizen, Von Buchenroder, Renaldo Gouws, Beverley-Anne Wood, Daniel Benson, Zuko Mandile and Penelope Naidoo also all received the nod for the provincial list.

In a surprise move, NPA prosecutor Glynnis Breytenbach is a Gauteng candidate for the National Assembly.