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Steenhuisen: DA still a home for black leaders and voters

High profile black leaders including Patricia de Lille, Mmusi Maimane, Herman Mashaba and – more recently – John Moodey have resigned from the party amid controversy in recent years.

FILE: Democratic Alliance 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 has rejected claims that there was a purge of black leaders in the DA, arguing that recent developments in the should be expected as the party gears up for its elective conference in next month.

High profile black leaders including Patricia de Lille, Mmusi Maimane, Herman Mashaba and – more recently – John Moodey, have resigned from the party amid controversy in recent years.

It’s also reported that at least seven prominent members face disciplinary action or were under investigation.

Among them is the party’s KwaZulu-Natal (KZN) leader Zwakele Mncwango – who’s had to explain himself to the federal executive led by Helen Zille, after inviting former leader Maimane to the opening of the KZN legislature.

Steenhuisen said the DA remained a home for black leaders and voters.

“The majority of the DA’s voters, 53% of them, are in fact not white South Africans. Eight of our nine provincial leaders are black South Africans.”

He’s said it’s impossible for a purge to take place within the party.

“We have a separate legal federal commission that acts independently and without fear or favour, and which makes sure every member of the party faces disciplinary process is given a fair hearing.”

Steenhuisen is contesting to become the DA leader at its elective conference next month and was expected to come up against former DA youth leader Mbali Ntuli.

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