DA congress: ‘Some get advantaged’

2012-11-21 00:00

DAYS before the DA’s biennual elective congress, claims have surfaced of some contenders for the top spots being given prime and unfair exposure over others.

DA MP Masizole Mnqasela, who is challenging party federal chairperson Wilmot James for his position, said he will 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.”

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 any more ... 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.

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