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Steenhuisen: Maimane focused too much on bashing ANC

Democratic Alliance (DA) interim leader John Steenhuisen said if he was elected as party leader in May, this would change to be more solution-oriented.

Democratic Alliance (DA) interim leader John Steenhuisen pictured on 9 January 2019 during a press briefing. Picture: Sethembiso Zulu/EWN

DURBAN – Democratic Alliance (DA) interim leader John Steenhuisen said that his party under former leader Mmusi Maimane focused too much on bashing the African National Congress (ANC).

He said if he was elected as party leader in May, this would change to be more solution-oriented.

Steenhuisen spoke to Eyewitness News on the Durban leg of his Real State of the Nation tour.

Steenhuisen said since the start of his tour last Friday, he had seen a country that was different from the one the president talked about in Parliament.

“Life has gone too hard for many South Africans across the board who are suffering under the yolk of crime and criminality, unemployment and many instances by an uncaring government that doesn’t put its citizens’ interests first but puts politicians’ interest first.”

He said he wanted to be elected as leader of the official opposition because he was experienced and would present more solutions to the country's problems.

“I think South Africans know why we are in a bad situation and I think what South Africans are looking for is a solution and a way out of the trouble that we are in. So, the days of just pointing the finger at the ANC and saying how bad they are, without putting workable solutions on the table, are over.”

Steenhuisen said he warned Maimane's campaign team about its strong focus on criticising the ANC rather than presenting solutions.

He said the DA has since learnt from this approach.