DA Youth gets new leader

2013-05-04 15:48

Ethekwini councillor Mbali Ntuli (25) has been elected as the new leader of the DA Youth at the organisation’s conference in Newtown, Johannesburg.

Ntuli, formerly the youth chairperson, takes over from Makashule Gana, who has graduated to the DA after being elected as one of three deputy federal chairs last year.

Nelson Mandela Metro University SRC chairperson Yusuf Cassim (23) was elected youth chairperson. Although there were no formal declarations of running mates, he is perceived to have been supportive of Ntuli.

The 30-year-old Tertius Simmers, a councillor in the Eden municipality, was elected youth training and development chairperson while Thorne Godinho, editor in charge of Student Development at the Pretoria Student Law Review, is in the media portfolio.

DA deputy federal chairperson Anchen Dreyer said in a statement the elections were “robust” but it “demonstrates the enthusiasm in which young people are participating in the DA”.

Read: DA Youth leadership race turns ugly

Earlier in the day, DA leader Helen Zille told delegates the materialism and disillusionment of many young people are indicative of a disengaged generation.

“Today the ‘anti-politics’ stay-at-home vote is much larger than the corps of young people willing to stand up and use their power to shape their future,” she said.

She said the DA has allowed others to define its politics and “it is therefore little wonder that so many South Africans have felt unable to trust any alternative with their aspirations and needs, even when they also felt they could no longer trust the ANC”.

She said the Know Your DA campaign was meant to change that.

The campaign has been criticised by opponents of the DA as simplifying the party’s history as only having struggled against apartheid.

Party parliamentary leader Lindiwe Mazibuko said young people should stand up and make it clear that they would not accept “scandals” such as the unauthorised landing at the Air Force Base Waterkloof of a plane carrying wedding guests of the Gupta family.

“Our response as young leaders to these scandals must be to make it clear that we will not accept this culture of no accountability as the government so shamelessly does,” she said.

She said the new generation was increasingly saying they deserved better.

She said next year’s general election could be a game-changer.

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