New DA leader weeps when recalling how Koos Venter supported her


She was elected unopposed to take the reigns of the party from James Masango.

New DA leader Jane Sithole broke into tears when she recalled how eMalahleni councillor Koos Venter and his wife Marianne supported her throughout her political career.

Sithole was elected unopposed as the leader of Mpumalanga DA and delegates cheered rapturously when the party’s electoral team announced her and Bosman Grobler, who became the chair.

The DA has the position of leader who leads the party and that of chairperson, who presides over meetings.

“Many people have shaped my life and my career in politics,” Sithole said while on stage at the main hall of the Graceland Casino in Secunda on Saturday evening.

“I would not be standing before you today if it was not for the support and encouragement that I received from the time I was 29 years old from Koos and Marianne Venter,” she said, before starting to break into tears.

New DA leader weeps when recalling how Koos Venter supported her

“They have raised me and today they are raising my children,” she said, sobbing.

She joined the DA in 1999 and met the Venter family while they were going to gym together.

She was addressing conference as the newly elected leader and said she was proud to serve under the caucus leadership of Venter for 13 years, thankful that “someone believed in me when I did not believe in myself”.

“It is an emotional journey when I look back,” she told the conference.

New DA leader weeps when recalling how Koos Venter supported her

Jane Sithole and Koos Venter in July 2016. PIC Witbank News

Venter is the man who who led a DA march to the eMalahleni police station to lay criminal charges against Theo van Vuuren, the former eMalahleni municipal manager accused of being at the centre of the maladministration and corruption at the eMalahleni municipality.

The fraud and corruption charge Venter laid against Van Vuuren was that he facilitated payments of close to R1 million out of the municipal bank account to a private account while he served as municipal manager there.

“Let’s hold one another’s hand and work together,” Sithole said on Saturday.

New DA leader weeps when recalling how Koos Venter supported her

“Where they preach hate, we must preach love. Where they preach division, we must preach unity. Where they preach fear, we must preach hope,” Sithole said.

“Democrats we need to make sure that the message of hope is more powerful than their message of hate,” she said.

Trudie Grove-Morgan was elected Sithole’s deputy.

New DA leader weeps when recalling how Koos Venter supported her

Trudie Grove-Morgan

The conference also elected Themba Mlotshwa to serve as Grobler’s deputy.

Annerie Weber will serve as the chairwoman of DA Women’s Network, deputised by Elsie van Douwe.

Palesa Mobango got elected as the leader of Mpumalanga DA Youth, deputised by Kuzwakele Mdau and Linky Shongwe.

(edited by ZK)

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James Masango to retire, gives way to Jane Sithole

A succession plan will see new leaders taking the reigns when a provincial elective congress is held in March 2018.

Mpumalanga DA leader James Masango is retiring from active politics, a spokesperson of the party revealed.

A provincial elective congress at the Graceland Casino in Secunda in March this year will elect new leaders, with Masango voluntarily stepping aside for Jane Sithole to take the baton.

“He is old and has served many years in the party,” provincial spokeswoman Dumisile Masuku told the 013NEWS reporter on Thursday this week.

“He is retiring,” she said.

“And I think after the general elections in 2019 he won’t come back to the legislature. He wants to rest now,” Masuku said.

Nominations for leaders to serve in the Mpumalanga DA closed a week ago and show that Sithole, who is the sole nominee for the position of provincial leader, will emerge unopposed.

SEE ALSO: Jane Sithole to emerge unopposed as Mpumalanga DA leader

Masuku said the party will announce the full list of the nominated candidates but it’s believed Bosman Grobler will be the new chair.

Masango, Sithole and Grobler are the only three members of the DA in the Mpumalanga legislature.

The DA has the positions of leader and that of chairperson and the leader, as in Mmusi Maimane who is the national leader, is the face of the party, and the chairperson, like Athol Trolip, who is currently the national chair, convenes and presides over party meetings.

Sithole, who is currently Mpumalanga chair, will take over as the leader and Grobler may take this seat to become the new chair.

“We will announce the nominated candidates anytime from now,” she said this week.

(edited by MLM)

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DA calls for Govt effort in reducing increasing MP crime


The party acknowledges the decrease in rapes but more should be done to reduce levels in Mpumalanga.

The DA in Mpumalanga province has called for concerted efforts in reducing increasing Mpumalanga crime.

It said the need for rural safety units in Mpumalanga is now more important to avert farm murders but also murders in general.

According to the 2017 crime stats released police minister Fikile Mbalula, 954 people were murdered in Mpumalanga during the 2016/2017 financial year.

This means 3 people were killed daily.

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Bosman Grobler of the party in the province said the 11.1% increase is the highest percentage increase when compared to other provinces.

Crime in overall increased by 1.4 % in Mpumalanga.

The report also shows an increase in:

·         contact crimes by 2%,

·         property related crimes by 1.5%,

·         attempted murder by 19.1%,

·         robbery with aggravating circumstances by 11.8%, and

·         common robbery  by 7.4%.

The DA welcomes the decrease in sexual offences which dropped by 3.5%. We hope that this is indicative of better efforts being made in fight for the protection of women and children,” Grobler said.

“The DA calls for a more concerted effort in resourcing the South African Police Service (SAPS) to make sure that our police force is properly equipped and trained to fight crime,” he said.

“Rural safety units must be established to protect the thousands of people living in rural areas because curbing specialised crime requires specialised units with specialised training,” he said.

(edited by ZK)

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DA slams Eric Kholwane’s budget speech

The opposition party says what they heard in this year’s budget speech at the Themba Senamela stadium was ‘uninspiring’ and not new.

The Democratic Alliance in the Mpumalanga province has criticised economic development MEC Eric Kholwane’s budget speech, saying the speech failed to address the province’s lost generation.

Kholwane delivered this year’s budget speech at the Themba Senamela stadium in Middelburg on Tuesday (14 Mar) this week.

SEE ALSO: Kholwane points to slow growth as cause for concern

The DA’s Bosman Grobler said in a statement that Kholwane’s speech was “uninspiring” because it failed “substantially” to address growth and employment creation for the people of Mpumalanga.

Grobler said Kholwane introduced no new measures to grow the economy and ensure job creations.

“The MEC allocated a total of R44.5 billion in the provincial budget, which includes R36 billion from the equitable share, R7.1 billion in conditional grants and 1.2 billion from the province’s own revenue,” Grobler said.

“With the unemployment rate in the province standing at 42,1%, no effort was made to create a conducive environment for employment creation,” he said.

READ: Eric Kholwane gets tough on economic transformation

Kholwane allocated R500 million to the provincial department of coperative governance and traditional affairs but the DA said this was nothing and explained why service delivery an “all time low”.

“The DA remains committed to achieving growth by ensuring that our plan for growth and jobs remain so that the lost generation of this province will be afforded with lots of opportunities,” Grobler said.

“We will continue to strengthen and revitalise our ideas with up to date research on our economy and how to grow it, including constant innovative policy department was not able to research on our economy and how to grow it, including constant innovative policy proposals,” he said.

(edited by ZK)

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