- DA leader John Steenhuisen has been endorsed by several party leaders to remain at the helm
- Steenhuisen is seeking re-election and goes up against Mpho Phalatse.
- The elective congress will be held this coming weekend.
Incumbent DA leader John Steenhuisen has received several endorsements from party bigwigs to steer the party for the next three years.
Steenhuisen is being challenged by Mpho Phalatse who is putting up a spirited fight to lead the party after its elective congress this weekend.
On Monday, Steenhuisen and Phalatse attempted to woo DA members in an internal debate.
Phalatse relied on her experience of being mayor of Johannesburg in positioning herself to be the best person to take over the party leadership.
Phalatse's campaign has focused on illuminating Steenhuisen's weaknesses as a leader - who, according to her analysis, was unable to attract the support of most citizens.
READ | DA elective congress: Here are the candidates battling for leadership positions
Steenhuisen has campaigned on a message of continuity in the party's growth, saying he is prepared to lead the DA into a post-ANC South Africa.
If endorsements are anything to go by, Steenhuisen would have already been crowned DA leader.
So far, he has been endorsed by DA MP and KwaZulu-Natal chairperson Dean MacPherson.
MacPherson, who is also running for a second term as provincial chairperson, is believed to be pulling huge numbers in support for Steenhuisen who also hails from the province.
DA Gauteng leader Solly Msimanga is also backing Steenhuisen for a second term.
News24 previously reported that Msimanga and DA Gauteng chairperson Fred Nel had sung Steenhuisen’s praises, saying he had navigated the DA through murky waters such as when former leader Mmusi Maimane vacated his post as party leader.
Several DA MPs, including Leon Schreiber, are also in support of Steenhuisen’s bid for a second term. Steenhuisen has also been endorsed by the likes of the party's federal chairperson, Ivan Meyer, who is also the agriculture MEC in the Western Cape.
News24 Analysis | Steenhuisen vs Phalatse: The battle to steer the DA toward 2024
Few big names in the DA have come out in support of Phalatse, but her campaign manager Masehlele Maile has warned against endorsements.
"In the DA, a provincial leader has only one vote at congress. No leader has the authority to tell congress delegates how to vote. Let’s not be fooled by self-serving interests," he posted on Facebook.