Home South African Mbali Ntuli challenges John Steenhuisen to televised debates

Mbali Ntuli challenges John Steenhuisen to televised debates

326
SHARE

Ntuli said that although the public can not vote for the DA’s next leader, citizens needed to see for themselves the quality and differences in her and Steenhuisen’s political visions.

Mbali Ntuli. File picture

MBALI Ntuli, vying to become the leader of the DA, is moving full steam ahead with her campaign and has challenged the party’s interim leader John Steenhuisen to a series of public debates.

Ntuli said that although the public could not vote for the DA’s next leader, citizens needed to see for themselves the quality and differences in her and Steenhuisen’s political visions.

A public debate was a perfect platform for each candidate’s political visions to be scrutinised by the public, she said on Monday during a virtual press conference.

“That is why I am challenging John Steenhuisen to four televised debates,” she said.

Ntuli and Steenhuisen, with Gauteng DA leader John Moodey, are vying to become the party’s next leader. The party will host a virtual conference following the party’s Federal Council signing off on the format, despite concerns from Ntuli and Moodey.

Ntuli said that she was specifically targeting Steenhuisen for primary debate because he was the incumbent leader, but she was not against Moody joining in on the debate.

The KZN MPL said the political differences between her and Steenhuisen were stark, especially on issues of economic redress and social justice.

“We have differences in how we look at social justice, economic redress, the climate crises and issues surrounding young people and issues affecting the LGBTQ community,” she said.

DA conference delegates had two options, according to Ntuli, either vote for Steenhuisen who is part of the political establishment and sat in DA leadership positions which oversaw the electoral decline of the party at last year’s national elections.

Another option was to vote for her vision of rebuilding the party and changing its electoral strategy that was not based solely on “facts” but that also targeted the hearts and minds of voters.

“I want to lead the DA into a future that rethinks the economy of the country. An economy that is not built solely for profit. My campaign will renew the contract of nation-building. I am here to tell you (DA delegates) there is a new way of saving the DA,” she said.

Ntuli said the party also needed to start embracing the role of coalition politics as part of the country’s future.

Ntuli had been one of several DA leaders who raised concerns over the party’s virtual elective conference. She remains concerned about her team’s ability to verify the votes cast virtually because, at the moment, the system can only show a vote has been cast but not who had voted.

The auditing process remained the only way to ensure that cheating did not take place, she said.

She has sent through her concerns to the DA’s electoral team and hoped the concerns would be sorted out ahead of the conference.