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Nosimo Balindlela joins the Democratic Alliance

Helen Zille, Leader of the Democratic Alliance
13 November 2012

Today, on behalf of the DA, I am delighted to welcome Nosimo Balindlela into our ranks.

Mrs Balindlela is former Premier of the Eastern Cape (2004 to 2008), a former member of the ANC NEC and was, until this morning, a sitting member of Parliament for the Congress of the People (COPE).

A teacher by profession, Nosimo first got involved in the struggle against apartheid on the campus of the University of Fort Hare. She was a prominent UDF activist in the 1980s, and in 1994 was elected to the Eastern Cape Legislature where she was appointed MEC for Education, Sports and Culture. She served on the provincial executive committee of the ANC from 1996 to 2008, the provincial working committee from 2004 to 2008, and was the provincial chairperson of the ANC Women’s League from 1996 to 2001.

This morning Mrs Balindlela resigned her COPE membership and her seat in the National Assembly. In a moment she will sign a DA membership form and receive her membership card from DA Eastern Cape Provincial Leader Athol Trollip.

The DA is working hard to build a new non-racial majority at the centre of South African politics that all voters can trust with their votes and with the future of the country. We have said that this new majority should be based on shared values.

I have known Nosimo for many years as a person of integrity. In our interactions, it was clear to me that she is someone with the core values that will take this country forward – a respect for the constitution, a commitment to non-racialism, the need to redress the legacy of apartheid, and a desire to build a society based on opportunity for all.

There are many, many South Africans like her who are frustrated by the divisions of the present. Many of us understand that our future lies in transcending these obsolete political formations. But it takes a courageous person to be among the first to show the way to others.

The DA is glad that Mrs Balindlela has joined our effort to remake South African politics and build a shared future. In the coming years we hope to bring together many more patriots, who like us, want to build a stable future based on shared values.

Today is another step in the realignment of politics in South Africa. Good people from across the spectrum are starting to converge around a vision and a plan for our country. The DA invites others like Mrs Balindlela, who may be inspired by her courage and vision today, to join us in building a new majority.