Any member can run to be Democratic Alliance leader - John Steenhuisen
Cape Town - Interim leader of the Democratic Alliance (DA) John Steenhuisen has spoken out after Western Cape leader Bonginkosi Madikizela announced that he would be in the race for the national leadership position in May.
Speaking to Independent Media on Sunday, Steenhuisen said anybody can challenge any position.
“We are an open opportunity party, any person can contest any position in the party,” he said.
“Anybody is free to challenge or contest any position. We are a democratic party that has democratic processes,” Steenhuisen said.
In October last year, Madikizela declared his intention to run for the interim leader position of the DA following Maimane's resignation.
Madikizela dropped out of the leadership race in November.
Tension started brewing within the party after former Western Cape Premier Helen Zille was elected as the party’s Federal Executive chairperson, the most powerful position in the DA, back in October.
The chess pieces then started falling, with Johannesburg Mayor Herman Mashaba resigning just after Zille’s appointment, then followed by the party’s leader Mmusi Maimane, and former Nelson Mandela Bay mayor and party chairperson Athol Trollip.
Speculation is rife that Madikizela’s challenge in the race could cause further divisions within the party.
Madikizela said: “When I pulled out of the race for the federal leader I said that I will be considering becoming a national leader. There has been long consultations because with these things consultations are important so yes that's where they are at the moment.”
Chief Whip of the DA, Natasha Mazzone said regardless of who contests the elections she will be voting for Steenhuisen.
“As you know, any member, who is in good standing in the DA can stand for any position they wish. I have read media reports that the Western Cape Leader intends to stand.
"Competition is good, and I encourage it. My vote is, however, no secret. I will be voting for John Steenhuisen," Mazzone said.
"I think he is a remarkable leader and I think he is exactly what the DA and South African politics needs during these turbulent times.”@MarvinCharles17