DA's Ntuli, Van Damme 'will fight if need be'

Any attempt by the Democratic Alliance (DA) to purge its young politicians, Mbali Ntuli and Phumzile van Damme, will start a war that will further damage its already tainted image as a white party, an analyst says. Political analyst Dr Ralph Mathekga said Ntuli, a DA MPL in KwaZulu-Natal and DA MP and former national spokesperson Van Damme would not go without a fight. They had the potential to inflict damage on the DA should it try to remove them. Ntuli is contesting interim leader John Steenhuisen for the federal leadership position at the party's national congress in October. The...
Any attempt by the Democratic Alliance (DA) to purge its young politicians, Mbali Ntuli and Phumzile van Damme, will start a war that will further damage its already tainted image as a white party, an analyst says.

Political analyst Dr Ralph Mathekga said Ntuli, a DA MPL in KwaZulu-Natal and DA MP and former national spokesperson Van Damme would not go without a fight. They had the potential to inflict damage on the DA should it try to remove them.

Ntuli is contesting interim leader John Steenhuisen for the federal leadership position at the party's national congress in October. The contest has become a two-horse race after the resignation of DA Gauteng leader John Moodey, who was also a candidate.

Moodey cited attempts to purge him on fabricated charges and Ntuli and Van Damme were reportedly being targeted for the ongoing purge. But both Steenhuisen and party federal council chair Helen Zille denied black members were being purged from the party. The two leaders separately used the term "impossible" to describe the alleged purge.

At its weekend virtual policy congress, the party adopted nonracialism as its policy amid criticisms within and outside the DA that it resisted transformation or inclusive leadership.

After Moodey's resignation, Ntuli is the only candidate standing against Steenhuisen, whom political analyst Somadoda Fikeni said was anointed as crown prince to lead the party. He said it would be difficult for Ntuli to win because Steenhuisen was backed by the entire DA institution.

Yesterday, Mathekga said that following the policy congress that was marred by Moodey's resignation and rumours that more leaders were ready to go, the DA would want a lull before the national congress in October.

"Things had been heated at this congress and getting rid of more people of a particular race would raise concerns," Mathekga said.

Political commentator Ndzipo Kalipa said the DA's adoption of nonracialism after many influential black leaders had left the party due to its lack of transformation was sugarcoating a huge racial problem it has.

"The DA cannot sugarcoat the race issue when it knows it has not transformed. Transformation is a process. Our politics is defined by the race card and unless we address race cards in our politics, we will continue to have a challenge in our society."

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