Former Democratic Alliance Youth leader Mbali Ntuli has challenged the acting party leader John Steenhuisen to a series of televised public debates in the run-up to the elective congress in October.

Ntuli, who now serves as a member of the KwaZulu-Natal legislature, has relaunched her election campaign after the relaxation of the COVID-19 lockdown. The conference will be held virtually due to the coronavirus pandemic.

DA leader candidate Mbali Ntuli says it is in the interest of democracy, transparency and the public at large that the candidates for leadership of the party debate their policy positions publicly.

For this reason, Ntuli has challenged interim party leader, John Steenhuisen to a series of televised live debates. They are vying for the party’s top spot after Mmusi Maimane quit as a leader and party member at the end of last year.

Ntuli has announced the resumption of her election campaign in a virtual briefing.

“I believe it’s in the interest of the Democratic Alliance delegates to see and to hear what the differences are amongst the 2 candidates who are vying for the top leadership of the Democratic Alliance. I think John and I diverge on a number of different policy matters and I think this means we could take the Democratic Alliance in two different conditions and two different directions.”

At issue is the DA’s setbacks in last year’s national and provincial elections. Ntuli believes the upcoming local government elections will be the toughest and most crucial in the party’s history.

“And I believe we have a lot of work to do to regain the votes of the many voters who left us in the last elections. But also to ensure that we are making sure that service delivery in this country is adequately meted out. And I think it’s particularly difficult because so many South Africans are tired of political parties and politicians.”

Ntuli says the DA’s current strategy of throwing facts at voters is not working.