The Democratic Alliance (DA) leader John Steenhuisen has refuted allegations that his party is struggling with dealing with race relations internally.
In an exclusive interview with the SABC on the party’s election manifesto ahead of the November 1 local government elections, Steenhuisen said the DA was the most diverse party in the country.
Former DA leader, Mmusi Maimane, former DA MP Phumzile van Damme and former Johannesburg Mayor, Herman Mashaba are some of the leaders that have left the party in recent times.
Steenhuisen is adamant that the DA has black leaders that believe that the party stands for non-racialism.
“The DA’s values and principles remain the same, which is why the Siviwe Gwarube, Solly Malatse … all of those people find a home within the DA and they know that the DA is fighting for non-racialism.”
“They don’t allow our opponents to define who and what they regard as important for South Africa or to define them as individuals. They are all in important positions, not because they are black but because they are excellent South Africans. I really do think that this notion of this mass exodus of black leaders of the DA is a little bit far fetched,” explains Steenhuisen.
Below is the full interview with DA leader John Steenhuisen:
DA under fire over election post
Meanwhile, the African National Congress (ANC) in KwaZulu-Natal has accused the DA of trying to gain support among the Indian community at the expense of social cohesion.
This is after the DA put up election posters in Phoenix north of Durban with a message in which it blames the ANC for racial tensions in Phoenix.
The posters refer to the widespread unrest in July when more than 350 people died in KwaZulu-Natal and Gauteng.
More than 30 of the deaths were reported in Phoenix.
ANC provincial spokesperson Nhlakanipho Ntombela has called on the DA to stop sowing divisions in communities.
The ruling party says it will approach the IEC to check if the posters are not a breach of the electoral code of conduct:
Steenhuisen vows not to apologise for election posters in Phoenix
On Wednesday, Steenhuisen said he was adamant that he will not apologise for some of the party’s messaging on its local government election posters.
This is despite the DA in KwaZulu-Natal coming under fire on social media for its controversial poster.
Speaking to the media in Midrand, Steenhuisen said he had no regrets about the messaging on the poster in Phoenix.
In the video below, Steenhuisen defends DA election posters in Phoenix: