John Steenhuisen takes aim at 'cadre' of journalists: 'They are steeped in the ANC's worldview'

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DA leader John Steenhuisen.
DA leader John Steenhuisen.
Gallo Images/Frennie Shivambu
  • DA leader John Steenhuisen has taken a swipe at those who, he claims, want to make the party look as bad as the ANC.
  • They included journalists and commentators who, Steenhuisen believes, the ANC's needs to be sustained.
  • Steenhuisen took exception to criticism of the party's recently held gun summit and the furore around the party's all-white campaign managers for the local government elections.

DA leader John Steenhuisen says a cadre of journalists and commentators are suckers for anything that makes the party look just as bad as the ANC.

In a statement this week, Steenhuisen berated some journalists for the party's stance on the Firearms Control Act and its controversial list of mostly white campaign managers for the local government elections.

"So, you would think the choice in this year's local government elections would be clear: Where the ANC governs, things fall apart; where the DA governs, we get things done.

"But there is a cadre of journalists and commentators who will have none of this. Steeped in the ANC's worldview, they bemoan the former liberation movement's corruption and incompetence in government but can't bring themselves to denounce its toxic combination of racial nationalism and state control," Steenhuisen said.

READ | DA nonplussed over criticism of mostly white elections team

He said while the economy was limping along, several commentators simply kept defending the ANC.

He added:

They see the economy backfiring, the decline of the developmental capacity of the state, and vulnerable communities suffering as a result. But they can't connect the dots between this malaise and the implementation of ANC policies and the adherence to the ANC worldview. The ANC's spirit must be sustained, even if its body is rotting.

In a recent opinion piece for Daily Maverick, broadcast journalist Stephen Grootes wrote that the DA's inability to capture the imagination of South Africans indicated that the party might find it hard going during the upcoming local elections.

He also wrote that the DA was using the proposed amendments to the Firearms Control Act and its so-called guns summit to drum up political support ahead of the elections.

READ ALSO | DA drums up support at virtual guns summit, but Bheki Cele a no-show

Steenhuisen said a significant number of black people shared the interests the DA was fighting for.

"The same point can be made about protecting property rights, pension funds, and medical aid reserves against the grabby hands of the state, the other major battles being fought by the DA against the ANC and the EFF (the ANC's fundamentalist faction).

"Black South Africans have no less a stake in these issues than anyone else. Without a modern industrial economy, secured by property rights, a free society, and a capable state, there will be no middle class to aspire to," he said.

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