PETER BRUCE: DA’s elective congress: colour-blind or short-sighted?
The party’s position of ignoring race, and not having a clear economic policy, could prove disastrous
Try as I might, I can’t get too worked up about the elective congress (or is it conference?) the official opposition, the DA, held at the weekend. I woke up on Monday to a Twitter feed alive with indignation at the election results the 2,000 or so virtual delegates returned. The big votes were for party leader, where the favourite and almost incumbent, interim leader John Steenhuisen, beat KwaZulu-Natal MPL Mbali Ntuli by a sizeable 1,443 votes to 361. Holding on to her (relatively new) position was the DA’s come-back federal council leader, Helen Zille.
The congress returned a majority white leadership overall, which led to the furore on my Twitter feed. You could understand it in a way. In a body politic obsessed with and rooted in race, the DA has recently declared itself above all that and will from now on proceed on the basis that race is simply not a factor in SA. How far that gets it politically will determine how long this new point of principle survives beyond the loc...