The DA's John Steenhuisen. Picture: VELI NHLAPO
The DA's John Steenhuisen. Picture: VELI NHLAPO

The DA leadership race is intensifying, with its federal council adopting new rules for lobbying.

The DA’s internal elections are usually open campaigns providing insight into the calibre of candidates, drawing voters into what is essentially an internal process.

But according to the Sunday Times, the DA has now adopted strict rules for lobbying, including barring public debates, keeping campaigning out of the public eye.

The move was prompted by letters from the two leadership contenders to members: Mbali Ntuli highlighted the problems in the party and said how she would fix them; and her opponent, John Steenhuisen, hit back at her for publicly trashing the party. He said voters were "turned off" when the DA turned inward, fighting internal battles.

So the DA has opted to hide its bitter struggles from view. It forgets that this does not make them go away. Writing in Business Day last week, Prof Steven Friedman said the DA’s weakness opened the door to potential governing arrangements between the ANC and the EFF.

The DA argues that it is the only party that can stop the ANC.

Ironically, its conduct will not only ensure that the ANC remains in power. It will also give a leg-up to Julius Malema’s EFF, providing it with a key stake in the running of SA.


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