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Stout to remain independent

Independent councillor Boitumelo Stout will not be leaving politics despite losing his ward in the local government elections. Picture: Danie van der Lith

While independent councillor Boitumelo Stout did not win Sol Plaatje Ward 16 during the recent municipal elections, he says that he will not be leaving politics.

WHILE independent councillor Boitumelo Stout, who contested during the local government elections, did not win Sol Plaatje Ward 16, he stated that he would not be leaving politics.

He added that returning to the ANC or joining another political party was also not an option.

The ANC won Ward 16 with 61.88 percent of the vote, followed by the EFF with 18 percent.

Stout won the third highest number of votes at 8.98 percent.

The Sol Plaatje Service Delivery Forum secured 1.8 percent support, while Good managed to secure 3.58 percent of the vote.

Stout served for a short period as acting Speaker at Sol Plaatje Municipality during a special council meeting in 2018.

He was among a group of ANC councillors who voted with opposition parties to oust then Sol Plaatje executive mayor Mangaliso Matika from office.

The “rebel” councillors, who were later expelled from the ANC, contested their wards as independent candidates during by-elections that were held in 2019, where Stout managed to win Ward 16.

Stout said on Thursday that he would not be leaving politics but would continue to bolster independents.

“I was approached to contest as a candidate of the Sol Plaatje Service Delivery Forum but I decided against contesting for any political party. I did not have anyone to bank-roll my campaign and I used everything from my own pocket,” said Stout.

“I am busy engaging with other independents to form structures at branch, regional and provincial levels to contest in the 2024 national general elections.

“During my tenure, there was a multimillion-rand housing development and electrification project in Snake Park.”

Stout believes that many voters are disillusioned with party politics.

“It is better to stand on your own because people are frustrated that the government is failing to alleviate poverty and unemployment, while there are no youth development programmes.”

Stout added that the outcome of the local government elections was a sign that it was “the beginning of the end” for the ANC.

“The ANC managed to win a 50 percent majority in the Northern Cape by a very slight margin. This means that they will have fewer seats in council, where councillors cannot afford to be sick or take leave at a whim.

“Voters are also not happy with councillors who were imposed on them.”

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