Mbali Ntuli is in the running for the DA leadership. Picture: Nqobile Mbonami/African News Agency (ANA)
Mbali Ntuli is in the running for the DA leadership. Picture: Nqobile Mbonami/African News Agency (ANA)

Mbali Ntuli suspends DA campaign amid coronavirus outbreak

By Sihle Mavuso Time of article published Mar 17, 2020

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Durban - Another aspiring national leader of the Democratic Alliance (DA) has suspended her campaign in a bid to curb the spread of Covid-19 virus in the country.  

Mbali Ntuli, the party’s senior member in the KZN legislature, made the announcement on Tuesday afternoon.

Ntuli who is also vying against John Steenhuisen to take over as party national leader said there should be no campaigning at this point in time. She stressed that it would have been a futile exercise as people would not come to large gatherings after the government decreed on Sunday that there should be no gatherings of more than 100 people.

“We are waiting to see how things go in terms of the president’s announcement and everything, after all no one will come to events… once everything is back under control we will start (to campaign) again,” Ntuli said. 

She later told Independent Media that she was happy with her campaign as she was able to draw crowds wherever she campaigned. She said she was most happy with her campaign in Gauteng, KZN and the Western  Cape. 

“We were going to use our events (rallies) in the Western Cape and Gauteng to show that we have support even in other places… But so far we are very happy with the amount of responses we got from the people and the support we were getting... We will soldier on,” Ntuli said. 

On Monday Steenhuisen, the perceived front runner in the leadership race as he is the incumbent, announced that he was suspending his campaign in order to aid the fight against spreading the virus. 

Also on Sunday Helen Zille, the DA's Federal Council chairperson said the federal executive (FedEx) had resolved to postpone the party’s policy conference which was billed for April 4 and 5. But no decision has been taken regarding the new date.  

“The FedEx has also resolved that the party will abide strictly by the guidelines for meetings and other forms of social and professional interaction outlined by the president last night. A decision on the Federal Congress that was due to take place on 30 and 31 May will be taken at a later stage with the proviso that it must be held after the policy conference,” Zille said in a statement.

One party insider hinted that the party’s elective conference may be moved to September or November this year. 

Political Bureau

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