No need for DA to treat Ramaphosa and ANC with kid gloves, says Mbali Ntuli
Johannesburg - Mbali Ntuli, one of the contenders for the position of national leader of the DA, says under her stewardship the party will not be soft on President Cyril Ramaphosa and the ruling party.
In an interview with Independent Media in Durban on Monday, Ntuli said there was no need for the official opposition to treat Ramaphosa and his party “with kid gloves”.
The approach Ntuli is advocating against Ramaphosa is quite distinct from the one the party adopted after Mmusi Maimane’s resignation in October last year. Speculation was rife that he was pushed out for adopting a tougher stance against Ramaphosa, who is favoured by some in the DA as a pro-business leader.
Maimane was responsible for unearthing the R500000 Bosasa donation to the CR17 fund, and the revelation led to the exposure of the fund’s other donors, some of whom are said to be DA donors too. As a sign of sympathy to Ramaphosa, former DA leader Tony Leon had said: “It was a big mistake (for the DA) to accept Busisiwe Mkhwebane’s report that Cyril Ramaphosa misled Parliament (over the Bosasa donation).”
Furthermore, as an indication that the DA was softening its stance on Ramaphosa, in November DA interim leader John Steenhuisen reportedly said he would co-operate with the ANC if their interests converged.
But that is not the case with Ntuli, who is set to lock horns with Steenhuisen for the position of national leader when the DA convenes to elect leaders.
“When Ramaphosa and the ANC mess up, of course I’m gonna be strong on them, of course I have to challenge them and take them on. There is no need to be soft on people who are watching 26 million people living in an economic crisis. What am I being soft on them for? I am there to represent people who do not have a voice.”
Ntuli said the ANC would never salvage the country with all the difficulties it was facing.
“Where people do good you must give credit, but I do not believe that the ANC is salvageable. I do not believe that Cyril Ramaphosa is the president we need. I don’t think he is strong and I don’t think he has any direction he is leading the country in. He is, as far as I am concerned, somebody who is just another ANC leader. Quite frankly Cyril is part of the problem, the ANC is part of the problem,” Ntuli said.
Ntuli was also asked whether she was ready to let sleeping dogs lie and work with Zille should she (Ntuli) get elected as national leader and Zille is re-elected chairperson of the federal council. She said their relationship was “professional”, but like everybody else, they often held differing views on certain matters.
Ntuli said the time had come for young people to take leadership positions. She said “old people” from all parties “have messed up further” and she hoped DA “delegates will do the right thing” and elect her.