Maimane and James go head-to-head in unique televised debate

2015-05-04 17:30
(Alexander Joe, AFP)

(Alexander Joe, AFP)

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Johannesburg - The DA's parliamentary leader Mmusi Maimane and federal chair Wilmot James will face-off against each other in a televised debate on Monday night, as they vie for the top position in the party.

Rapport editor and Insig presenter Waldimar Pelser said both candidates would be subjected to "scrutiny that is unusual in this country", during his programme at 22:00 on kykNET on DStv.

News24 will carry live updates on the debate.

He said debates like this were not the custom of the Democratic Alliance, the African National Congress or in fact the National Party before 1994.

"It will not follow the classical debate template," Pelser said adding that both Maimane and James would have a chance to "have a go at each other".

He said the debate is expected to bring a fresh perspective to politics in the country, as well as to the two candidates. 

"People don't only vote based on what they read in the papers. When people make voting decisions they don't only look cerebrally at policy, they listen to what type of person that politician is," Pelser said.

"Television is a very powerful medium to convey things that the written word cannot."

He said he would afford both men the chance to tell South Africans - and the members of the DA who will vote for either of them at the party's federal congress in Nelson Mandela Bay at the weekend - why they are the best person to lead the party.

Pelser said the debate would be conducted in English, despite kykNET (Channel 144) being an Afrikaans channel.  

"People should not get a fright when I say hello in Afrikaans at the beginning of the programme," he quipped.

He said many people had questioned why the debate was not being broadcast on a channel with a wider audience.

"This is because they didn't invite them. We invited them."

He said debate would be uploaded to YouTube afterwards for the whole nation, especially those without access to DStv, to see.

Read more on:    da  |  mmusi maimane  |  wilmot james  |  politics

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