Steenhuisen wants DA members to reject the proposal to amend its constitution and change the composition of the party’s influential national management committee.
Steenhuisen dismissed the plan “as the party’s constitution states, a federal structure of the party is entrusted with the day-to-day management and administration of the party”.
According to the proposed amendment, the DA’s national management committee is intended to serve as a sounding board for the federal leader and that its membership should therefore be flexible, and should be able to co-opt members as it sees fit.
“The first problem is that this characterisation of the national management committee is not true,” Steenhuisen said.
He said there was nothing wrong with co-opting leaders into the committee but that this should not be done to the exclusion of office-bearers that have the constitutional right to sit on that committee.
He said removing the office-bearers and replacing them with people co-opted at the whim of the leadership would centralise power.
“We should surely be endeavouring to widen the membership of important structures like the national management committee in order to maximise both oversight and ensure a plurality of thought and ideas on this body,” said Steenhuisen.