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Race is on for DA top job


By Samkelo Mtshali 21h ago

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CAPE TOWN – Voting for the new leader of the DA has officially closed following more than eight hours of online voting by the party’s 2000 voting delegates as the end to the battle for the party’s leadership position between Mbali Ntuli and interim party leader John Steenhuisen draws nearer.

Voting began at 9am and closed at 5pm on Saturday, with a unique code sent to each delegate that allows them to vote on the OpaVote system only once, with the party’s new leadership to be announced on Sunday.

With 2000 delegates voting, the congress is the biggest ever for the party and the largest online congress of any political party in South Africa, the DA has claimed.

“The combination of proven technology with national hybrid venues, will ensure that delegates of all communities have an opportunity to cast their vote,” said Simon Dickinson, DA Chief Executive Officer.

Earlier, during their five minute long candidate speeches, Steenhuisen and Ntuli made their final pleas to the delegates with Steenhuisen taking an apparent swipe at Ntuli saying leaders must stop talking to the media about our internal party matters.

Steenhuisen said that he was committed to restoring discipline.

“From now on, every single DA member must focus on the voters. All of them,” said Steenhuisen.

He said that under his leadership, the days of investing more in buying smart-tablets than on training activists and treating activists like little more than survey workers would be a thing of the past.

“Gone are the days of Facebook politicians taking credit for the hard work of activists.

“And gone are the days of people being parachuted into positions at the expense of hardworking members,” Steenhuisen said.

Ntuli said that having been in the party for 14 years, she knew what it took to be in different communities and that her aim was to ensure that the party’s branches were empowered and had the money and the resources to be the soldiers on the ground for the party.

“I’ve been in rural communities, villages, townships and in suburbia and I believe as the DA we need to tap into every single type of person in this party and in South Africa and show them they can belong in the DA,” said Ntuli.

Other leadership contestations include the battle for the position of DA Federal Council Chairperson between the incumbent in that position Helen Zille and the DA’s Gauteng Provincial Legislature Chief Whip Mike Moriarty.

The party’s three Deputy Federal Chairperson positions are being contested by Refiloe Nt’sekhe, Anton Bredell, Annellie Lotriet and Jacques Smalle.

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