Young gun aims for top


The Citizen (KZN) - - News - Gcina Nt­saluba gci­[email protected]­i­

Chal­lenges are big­ger than any can­di­dates can han­dle – So­madoda Fikeni.

For­mer Demo­cratic Al­liance (DA) youth leader Mbali Ntuli may have big plans to bring fair­ness back to the DA as she runs for party lead­er­ship, but an­a­lysts warn she may be bit­ing off more than she can chew.

The young politician from KwaZulu-Natal, who is ex­pected to go head-to-head with Western Cape leader Bonginkosi Madik­izela, Gaut­eng leader John Moodey and in­terim leader John Steen­huisen, among oth­ers, said the DA should re­turn its fo­cus to re­align­ing pol­i­tics in South Africa.

Po­lit­i­cal an­a­lyst Dr So­madoda Fikeni said Ntuli was a good can­di­date, but she did not have enough ex­pe­ri­ence to man­age the com­plex­i­ties of the party and nei­ther did the oth­ers.

“I do think she is the right can­di­date to raise the de­bate and pro­vide some clar­ity on cer­tain is­sues, es­pe­cially for black vot­ers who might not be clear with the DA’s eco­nomic poli­cies, for ex­am­ple,” said Fikeni.

He said that even if Ntuli won the race and be­came the party’s leader, the DA’s prob­lems were far big­ger than she could or any of the cur­rent lead­ers could han­dle as they lacked the ex­pe­ri­ence and stature of for­mer lead­ers like Tony Leon and He­len Zille, when she started out in pol­i­tics.

“Even Steen­huisen does not fit the bill,” said Fikeni. “The chal­lenges fac­ing the DA now are big­ger than the cur­rent list of can­di­dates put for­ward so I do not think they will pass this test.”

Yes­ter­day Ntuli an­nounced she was run­ning for the po­si­tion be­cause South Africa needed a dif­fer­ent kind of pol­i­tics – one that came from a place of em­pa­thy and kind­ness.

“I want to make the party kind, strong and fair. I’m run­ning be­cause I believe if we can show South Africans the peo­ple who re­ally make up the DA, they would see the DA I see; a DA of peo­ple do­ing their best to serve in a po­lit­i­cal cli­mate that tries to crush their ef­forts at every turn,” said Ntuli.

She said that one of her main con­cerns was restor­ing con­fi­dence in the DA which had taken a se­vere knock af­ter the res­ig­na­tion of for­mer party leader Mmusi Maimane and for­mer Jo­han­nes­burg mayor Her­man Mashaba last year over what seemed to be dif­fer­ences of opin­ion with the party.

Ntuli said the new leader must have a vi­sion that res­onated with all South Africans and not just with the white mi­nor­ity.

“Our lead­er­ship must have the strength and cred­i­bil­ity to win not only the minds, but the hearts of South Africans. We need a leader who has a vi­sion that res­onates with all South Africans. A leader who un­der­stands and has lived the re­al­i­ties of South Africans,” added Ntuli. –

We need a leader who has a vi­sion

Mbali Ntuli

For­mer DA youth leader

Pic­ture: Nigel Sibanda

HIGH HOPES. DA KwaZulu-Natal spokesper­son on co­op­er­a­tive gov­er­nance and tra­di­tional af­fairs Mbali Ntuli an­nounces her can­di­dacy in the up­com­ing DA lead­er­ship elec­tion yes­ter­day.

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