Cape Town – Former Western Cape Premier Ebrahim Rasool has been announced as the head of the ANC’s Western Cape elections campaign.
Fikile Mbalula, ANC head of elections, announced the party’s ambitions to win back the Western Cape in the 2019 elections.
Mbalula said when Rasool was premier in the province, there was a focus on poor unlike with the DA leadership. The ANC lost the province to the DA in the 2009 elections.
Mbalula said Rasool had warned the DA about the water crisis.
“People in the Western Cape have said that the ANC has ignored their cries when it comes to water crisis. The disallocation of resources from the poor to rich areas is a serious social hazard,” said Mbalula.
The ANC is also placing focus on the division between black people and coloured people in the province. Mbalula said there has been campaign to draw division between the two groups.
“Rasool will work with a team that will be accountable to the ANC leadership. Black and coloured people must feel like they belong in the province. There is a catastrophe that has pitted races against one another,” he said.
ANC Western Cape secretary Faiez Jacobs said the theme for the preparation for the elections is “unity and renewal”.
Rasool said: “The ANC’s renewal comes at the same time as the DA is imploding. For those who left the ANC, come back. We are calling you for the campaign of your life”.
The former premier quoted opinion polls that stated that the ANC sits at about 51% in the Western Cape. This is a contrast to the 2009 elections where the ANC received only 31.55% in the Western Cape.
The DA received 51,46% of the vote share in the province
How do South Africans remember Ebrahim Rasool ?
Ebrahim Rasool served as the South African Ambassador to the United States between 2010 and 2015. He was replaced by H.E. Ambassador Mninwa Mahlangu who presented his credentials to President Barack Obama on Monday, 23 February 2015. Ebrahim Rasool was the Premier of the Western Cape province from 2004 to 2008. He is a member of the African National Congress. Whilst he was Premier Rasool launched an aggressive series of anti-gang policies that targeted gang members economic interests and stepped up police investigations into alleged gang leaders. Following the arrest of gang leader Quinton ‘Mr Big’ Marinus Rasool and then Western Cape Provincial Minister of Community Safety and political ally Leonard Ramatlakane started receiving death threats allegedly from the Chinese Triads. This led Ramatlakane to controversially spend R 347,716 of public money on security improvements to his home.
On 14 July 2008, Rasool was recalled from the position of premier by the National Executive Committee of the ANC, as the ANC leadership had grown tired of giving preference to the large Muslim and Cape Coloured populations in the Western Cape. His successor was Economic Development and Tourism MEC Lynne Brown. In July 2010, Rasool was appointed South Africa’s ambassador to the United States.
However In 2010 before being deployed to the United States an investigation was launched into allegations that Rasool was paying a political reporter in a mainstream newspaper to write articles that portrayed him favourably. This investigation is currently stalled due to material witnesses refusing to cooperate with the investigation.