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Cablegate: The Independent Democrats: Instructing and Courting Anc

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DE RUEHTN #0210 2910934
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
R 170934Z OCT 08 ZDS
FM AMCONSUL CAPE TOWN
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC 2850
INFO RUEHSA/AMEMBASSY PRETORIA 6209
RUEHDU/AMCONSUL DURBAN 3172
RUEHJO/AMCONSUL JOHANNESBURG 2035

UNCLAS CAPE TOWN 000210

SIPDIS
SENSITIVE

C O R R E C T E D C O P Y (Corrected paras marking)

E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: PREL PGOV SF

SUBJECT: THE INDEPENDENT DEMOCRATS: INSTRUCTING AND COURTING ANC
BREAK AWAY MEMBERS

1. (SBU) Patricia DeLille, out-spoken leader of the Independent
Democrats (ID) -- the third largest party in the Western Cape and
the fourth in South Africa -- is doing double duty as some
ruling African National Congress (ANC) member's contemplate
leaving their party. In a recent article published in the Mail and
Guardian, Ms. DeLille offered guidance on formulating a new
political party. Less publicly, she is courting ANC dissenters who
are choosing to migrate to the ID.

2. (SBU) At a representational event hosted by the CG on October 13,
Ms. DeLille spoke with the CG and with Dr. Laurine Platzky, an ANC
Western province official about the fore mentioned article. Dr.
Platzky said, the article was a "common sense guideline" to
developing a new party, but also noted that she was not planning to
develop a new party any time soon. DeLille said the guidance she
provided in the article was exactly what she followed when she split
from the Pan African Congress in 2004. She also noted that although
the ID has 200,000 registered voters, the party received 500,000
votes in the last election.

3. (SBU) A devoted student of the National Democratic Institute,
DeLille stressed the need to have a commitment to patience and
persistence. In both her article and in her conversation with
the CG, DeLille stated that the efforts of a new political party
should be non-stop and never ending. She also noted the need to
push the agenda of a new party at every possible
opportunity, from "funerals and weddings" to what DeLille
referred to as "rent-a-crowds." When asked about financing for
newly formed parties, she indicated that funding would always
be a problem, but that it is not the main concern; relaying the
party's ideological beliefs to the public is much harder than
raising money, she said. In her article DeLille also
addressed the issue of financing and stated that a new political
party would need between 1-2 million rand to get started. She
stressed that it is important to have about 20 people to set up
a new party branch. DeLille added that six months is very little
time to get a party ready for the next election, but if "Lekota's
rebels" take over complete branches of the ANC, they have a chance.

4. (SBU) When asked by the CG why the disaffected ANC rebels might
start a new party when there are dozens of other parties with which the
could unite, DeLille indicated that in fact there are ANC members
already defecting to the ID and that this shift had been reported in
the press. (Note: South Africa's Independent Electoral Commission
reported that 138 political parties are formally registered.
Ninety-nine of them are registered to compete at the national level
and the remainder for municipal elections. To register a party,
applicants must par Rand 500 (U.S. $ 1 - 10.2 Rand), and submit
signatures of 500 registered voters. End Note.) DeLille said that
the ID could not allow these potential new members from the ANC to
merely "drift" into her party. Rather, she and other ID members are
actively courting disenfranchised members of the ANC, providing
rationale for them to link their resources and membership with the
ID.

5. (SBU) Note. Ms. DeLille has recently returned from the USA as a
guest of the National Democratic Institute and an attendee at the
Democratic Party National Convention. She told the CG that her
"take- aways" from that experience were the increased and very
effective use of technology in courting new members as well as the
Qeffective use of technology in courting new members as well as the
need to increase diversity, including young people, as a means of
increasing the party base. End note.

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