Unhappiness in DA about ‘unfair’ campaigns

2012-11-21 06:38

Days before the DA’s biennial elective congress, claims have surfaced of some contenders for the top spots being given unfair exposure.

DA MP Masizole Mnqasela, who is challenging party federal chairperson Wilmot James for his position, said he would be writing a letter of complaint to James as the chairperson of the congress, to ask for fair speaking time for all.

Top of his concerns was that party spokesperson Mmusi Maimane is allocated 10 minutes at the start of the programme to give the welcoming address at the congress.

Maimane is one of nine candidates for the three deputy federal chairperson positions, and Mnqasela said this would give him an unfair advantage over the others.

“I will be asking that all the candidates get equal speaking time,” he said.

According to a draft copy of the congress agenda, there will be no time allocated to candidates to give a final campaign message, although a DA organiser told City Press earlier that candidates would be given five minutes each to speak.

Candidates for the positions up for election have been touring the country over the past two weekends to debate each other in closed meetings meant for congress delegates only.

According to one of these candidates, the meetings haven’t been all that well attended, but the main purpose was to introduce candidates to as many people as possible.

“The party isn’t so small anymore that everybody knows everybody, so we need to have these debates so that people can get to know who the candidates are,” the candidate said.

James could not be immediately reached for comment, and chairperson of the party’s federal council, James Selfe, did not respond to an earlier SMS.

Selfe was in court for most of the day to contest Parliament’s decision to block a motion of no confidence in President Jacob Zuma.

Maimane said he’d prefer not to comment.

Mnqasela three weeks ago objected to a letter sent out by Western Cape deputy leader Theuns Botha to delegates in the province, asking them to support James.

Botha agreed to withdraw the letter because the DA does not allow provincial campaigning in structures.
The congress is set to take place in Boksburg on Saturday and Sunday.

» Follow @City_Press for tweets from the congress.

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