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National & Provincial
Feb 13 2012 10:58AM
 
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Warren Mabona

The clock is ticking as ­political manoeuvring for the Gauteng leadership of the DA gains momentum ahead of the party’s provincial congress next month.

The incumbent provincial leader Janet Semple is not ­available for reelection, leaving the field open for John Moodey and Ian Ollis to lock horns in what promises to be a closely contested race for the ­province’s most important position. The election is scheduled to take place on March 10 in Pretoria.

Contrary to widespread media speculation that race would determine the outcome of the results of the elections, both Moodey and Ollis – who are coloured and white respectively-said yesterday they would win by virtue of their efforts.

“Race is not our value because the DA is a liberal democratic party that accommodates people of every skin colour,” Ollis said.

“I am confident my campaign will enable me to win ­comfortably because many people ran up to me and in jubilation when I recently visited constituencies in several regions.”

Ollis, an MP, said he had ­interacted with people of different ages and debated various issues that could contribute to economic growth and the uplifting the lives of the masses. His election promises included ­uplifting the youth, improving the internal communication ­channels of the DA and establishing a political school.

Moodey said he was trying to drum up support by ­making ­himself more visible on the ground and planned to launch an electronic phase of his campaign in the next three days.

Moodey, who is caucus leader in the Gauteng legislature, said being coloured would not tip the scales in his favour, but the good things he would do for the people were the strong ammunition for his victory. “My campaign will entail communicating with the regions by sms and sending email messages.

“I will win because I have a sound relationship with ordinary people on the ground.”

DA national spokesperson and Johannesburg caucus leader Mmusi Maimane was rumoured to be on the brink of submitting his candidacy in the middle of last month to contest the election. But he said yesterday that he was not in contention for the position.

“I am not a candidate for the position of provincial leader,” he said. “I have decided to focus on my job as a ­spokesperson and caucus leader.”

warrenm@thenewage.co.za

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