In an unexpected turn of events the African National Congress’s (ANC) councillor Previn Vedan won the Chatsworth Ward 71 by-election against the Democratic Alliance’s (DA) councillor Fatima Ismail by a staggering 469 votes. The announcement came in early hours of Thursday morning, 4 October, following voters going to the polls on Wednesday, 3 October.

Vedan was exceptionally pleased to have won in his home town of Shallcross, where he obtained 510 votes out of a total of 1065. The Ward contested of Shallcross, Crossmoor, Moorton and Bottlebrush.
The 26-year-old human rights lawyer said that the ANC is gracious in victory. “The ANC ran a positive campaign, my opponents were dignified in the robust election and we need to all work together in uplifting the diverse community. My first order of business would be to tackle service delivery,” he said.

Mixed reactions came from residents, with many pleased about the results. A Malvern resident, Mrs J Govender, said that hope has been restored. “We have confidence that Previn Vedan will be an outstanding councillor in Ward 71. He comes from a well-educated and humble background and the community has always been his priority. I wish him well,” she said.

Another resident, from Crossmoor, Dan Pillay, said, “The ANC has taken over the Ward from the DA, we hoping the change will finally take place.”

Vedan ran the flag of “new generation, new hope, new energy” inspired by the Thuma Mina campaign led by president Cyril Ramaphosa.

ANC branch secretary, Falakhe Mhlongo, said that everyone needs to work together. “We must live together, we must work together, we must stop crime so that all our people can live in safety and in peace,” said Mhlongo.