All eyes will be on the DA as the party elects its national leadership in the next two weeks.
The opposition party officially made its list of candidates public on Tuesday and revealed that the planning for the two-day virtual federal congress is underway.
“Preparation for DA federal congress is proceeding full steam ahead, and the hard work being carried out to prepare for a successful virtual federal congress is progressing to plan. Nominations for the candidates standing for election opened on September 7 this year and closed on Saturday October 10,” the DA said in a statement.
The heated race between interim leader John Steenhuisen and the KwaZulu-Natal member of the provincial legislature, Mbali Ntuli has in the last few months been a big talking point in the political arena. Now delegates will have to decide to vote for Helen Zille to either retain her current position as federal council chairperson or to give Gauteng legislature leader Mike Moriarty a chance.
Running for the federal council deputy chair positions are Western Cape local government MEC Anton Bredell, national parliamentary caucus chair Annelie Lotriet, spokesperson Refiloe Nt’sekhe and Limpopo leader Jacques Smalle. Only three of these candidates can be elected.
Former Mpumalanga leader James Masango and MP Thomas Walters have been nominated unopposed as the other deputy chairs of federal council while Ivan Meyer and MP Dion George will also not be opposed for their nominations for federal chair and federal finance chair, respectively.
For the first time delegates will be voting from the comfort of their homes – a process the official opposition has in the past assured will be free and fair.
“Due to the Covid-19 coronavirus pandemic and subsequent lockdown, the DA had to re-imagine the format of our federal congress and chose to proceed virtually, with delegates attending congress from their homes and also from a variety of venues being made available nationwide,” the party said.
“This approach ensures that the congress is extremely accessible to all delegates, from all communities.”
The DA’s elections come at a time when internal battles have been exposed with two provincial leaders parting ways with the party.
First to go was the former Gauteng leader John Moodey made a controversial exit from the party then KwaZulu-Natal leader Zwakele Mncwango followed.
Moodey has since joined Herman Mashaba’s newly formed party, ActionSA.