Reaction: NP’s determination to sue statement by Pretoria Councillors of the New Movement Process (28 July 1997)

We have taken note of the National Party’s determination to take us to court on not resigning from the CCP since leaving the party. We are, however, pleased to note that proceedings will not start immediately, and that the opportunity still exist for resolving the issues in an amicable way. We believe in peaceful co-existence and dialogue, rather than confrontation and a situation where party politics tend to take the interests of the residents of our city hostage.

We do, however, want to put some of the NP’s remarks in their press release, in perspective: We did not hand over power to the ANC: The ANC is not at present in power in the Pretoria council. It holds 28 seats with the remaining 42 in the hands of the NP, NMP, independents and other parties. If the ANC effectively takes control of the city, it will rather be the result of the NP’s inability to co-operate with other parties, than the actual power base of the ANC itself. It is patently untrue that we have resigned from the NP without any consultation with our electorate.

A primary reason for our resignation, has exactly been pressure from our electorate, dissatisfied with reluctance from the NP to live out its vision and mission. We find it surprising that the NP is pursuing this matter with so much vigour: By staunchly opposing the anti-defection clause in the constitution, the NP is supposedly in favour of free movement between political parties. The party accepted members of the Minority Front in KwaZulu-Natal in this spirit, but somehow cannot bring themselves to apply the same principle in Pretoria. We still believe that the interests of the residents of Pretoria can at best be served by councillors working together in a spirit of co-operation to serve those by whom they were elected.