DA debate: Merit vs Popularity

2015-05-06 08:35
Wilmot James and Mmusi Maimane (Eugene Gunning, Netwerk24)

Wilmot James and Mmusi Maimane (Eugene Gunning, Netwerk24)

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Johannesburg - DA Parliamentary leader Mmusi Maimane won popularity points during a debate with his opponent Wilmot James, but the latter won on merit, a social media analyst said on Wednesday.

"They said Wilmot had a better case and he debated really well. However, Mmusi has charm and charisma," media monitoring group ROi Africa managing director Tonya Khoury said on Wednesday.

"Basically, that's what it came down to, whether you like the guy or not. And they [social media users] really like Mmusi," said Khoury, whose company monitors trends on social media platforms.

She said James won the debate based on merit but Maimane won on popularity.

However, the debate was not very big on social media, partly because it was broadcast on a niche channel, she said.

It was aired at 22:00 on Monday on DStv's Afrikaans channel KykNET.

"I believe that choosing a platform like KykNET probably resulted in the lack of press or social commentary as KykNET is pretty niched," Khoury said.

"Social media was not very big in its entirety; online print and broadcast radio were the dominant reporters."

Maimane and James differed on pertinent rights issues during the debate.

A section of the 30-minute debate was spent discussing their stances on the death penalty, the judicial system, gay rights and the role of religion.

- Watch the debate here.

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

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