Steenhuisen’s ascendance to the DA’s top job no surprise: Analyst

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Political analyst Levy Ndou says John Steenhuisen’s ascendance to the DA’s top job should come as no surprise.

“Steenhuisen has been exposed to national politics for some time, he has been the chief whip of the Democratic Alliance in parliament and he was also given the opportunity to run the party after Mmusi Maimane left the party and that gave him a much better edge, another factor is that he represents part of the traditional support base of the Democratic Alliance which the DA has been worried about and if you have a leader of Steenhuisen’s calibre it is possible to still gain the support of the traditional support base.”

Former DA leader, Helen Zille, also emerged victorious as the Federal Council Chair with the three Deputy Federal Chairpersons named as Jacques Smalle, Refiloe Ntsheke and Anton Bredell.

The position of Federal Chairperson went to Ivan Meyer, Federal Finance Chairperson is Dion George and the two Deputy Chairpersons of the Federal Council – James Masango and Thomas Walters – were uncontested.



Outside the excitement of the leadership race, the party discussed amendments to its constitution and passed several resolutions – National Spokesperson, Solly Malatsi, says different resolutions that deals with different aspects of crime will be sought after.

“This includes a few different resolutions that deals with different aspects of crime in our community from decentralising the South African Police Services so that power is moved to more provincial levels to serve communities, to better serve local communities, to getting farm attacks and farm murders declared hate crimes and given priority status and training and capacitating local police stations to better deal with gender-based violence. We have also passed resolutions committing the party to promote legislation to make conversion therapy for LGBTQI+ persons under the age of 18 illegal.”

Steenhuisen and his new leadership will now have to put their shoulders to the wheel with the task of clawing back support for the party ahead of next year’s local elections.

Steenhuisen emerged victorious at the party’s virtual elective congress attended by over 2 000 of the party’s members this weekend. He was competing for the party’s top position against KwaZulu-Natal legislature Member, Mbali Ntuli.

DA’s Presiding Officer, Greg Krumbock, delivered the result. “Delegates 88.6% of you have voted in this congress election and the new leader of the democratic alliance is John Steenhuisen,” he said.

John Steenhuisen elected as DA’s new leader: 

Steenhuisen, who gained 80% of the votes, paid tribute to his competitor Mbali Ntuli.

“Mbali yhoo, you did not make this an easy race you fought me every step of the way and you did not give up and in doing so you have helped to entrench a pound democratic tradition in our party that we don’t anoint leaders, we elect them, we choose leaders on the basis of their ideas the content of the character and the potential to lead our party into new territory and Mbali long may this tradition last in this country.”

Steenhuisen addresses the congress: 

Ntuli says she is happy with the campaign she put up against the newly elected party leader.

She was speaking after the announcement of results.

Both Steenhuisen and Ntuli are from KwaZulu-Natal. Ntuli says she will rally behind the newly elected leader.

“I think we tried very hard to be as innovate and creative as possible and I think the voters possibly just decided on individualistic merits. Either way, I think democracy has been the winner today. I am proud of the campaign that we ran and I think I was the first for the both the party and South Africans. Of course, he is now our leader and we will all get behind him and support him in any endeavour. And I think that was a democratic outcome and it was just the contesting of ideas and I’m proud that KZN is also a winner in this because we both from this province.”

Steenhuisen has promised that his party will take power from the state and give it back to the people.

Delivering his message to delegates at the end of the party’s two day virtual elective congress, Steenhuisen said South Africa’s incapable state has gotten in the way of citizens getting ahead and it is time the DA changes this.

Steenhuisen promises to take power from the state back to the people: