‘DA members must feel free to share views on contentious matters’

Bonginkosi Madikizela is one of two candidates who have publicly declared their candidacy to run for the party's leadership in the Western Cape.

FILE: Acting Western Cape Democratic Alliance leader Bonginkosi Madikizela. Picture: Monique Mortlock/EWN

CAPE TOWN - The Democratic Alliance's (DA) interim provincial leader Bonginkosi Madikizela says the party has to allow for opposing views to be debated openly without fear of retribution or a witch hunt.

He is one of two candidates who have publicly declared their candidacy to run for the party's leadership in the Western Cape, but Eyewitness News understands it won't be a two-horse race.

Nominations for the job have officially closed and could be revealed as soon as Wednesday.

Madikizela says if the DA is to thrive under his leadership, members have to feel free to share different views on contentious matters.

He cites the controversy over Premier Helen Zille's tweet on colonialism as one of those instances.

“We’ve got to be frank and have those discussions that make us feel uncomfortable at times.”

Madikizela says an unresolved issue over whether he should have declared a birthday party hosted by friends and business people, allegedly connected to the department, was designed to sully his chances at next weekend's provincial congress.

“The intention here was never to take this matter forward and investigate it because there is no case.”

DA Provincial director Han-Marie van Zyl says multiple nominations have been received for all 13 positions that will be contested.