DA leadership candidate John Steenhuisen has warned the party’s federal council, Helen Zille, to “stay in her lane” or else he will show her where the yellow line is.
Steenhuisen announced his candidacy for the DA leadership this afternoon, shortly after being elected unopposed as a parliamentary leader. He made the announcement in front of the Cape Press Club at Kelvin Grove in Newlands, in the heartland of the DA.
The DA’s transitional leader is elected by the party’s federal council on November 17, and the new full-time leader in April at the party’s nationwide federal congress.
Asked if Zille will be the power behind his leadership throne, and he will have to jump if she says so, Steenhuisen said he and Zille had previously agreed and disagreed fervently.
“One of the issues I disagreed with was her tweet about colonialism. In my opinion, Twitter is by no means the right platform to raise such a complex issue. In terms of leadership: She has committed to staying in her job. If I’m a leader and she doesn’t, I’ll show her where the yellow line is, ”
Steenhuisen admitted it is tough times for the DA at the moment, saying one of the main reasons is because voters are uncertain about what the DA is and what the party stands for. He said the DA and its predecessor parties were already facing worse challenges, for example when Dr. Van Zyl Slabbert resigned as PFP leader in 1986, when the DP was almost obliterated in the 1994 election, as well as when Marthinus van Schalkwyk’s followers left the DA.
“Personalities come and go, but now is the time to show the marrow in our bones and stay true to our liberal principles more than ever. There are three major traps in which the DA can step, namely to turn to the right and become like the FF Plus, to the left and to touch an ANC Lite, or to do nothing and to deny the current crisis, ”according to Steenhuisen.
“The DA must form a steel fort in the middle of South African politics. We must be the party of non-racialism, of caring for the vulnerable, of reconciliation and of strong, clean government.
“We stand for an entrepreneurial economy that gives equal opportunities but does not try to stifle equal outputs. Our guideline is the Constitution and the rule of law, ”he continued.
“Liberalism believes in creative conflict through, for example, freedom of the press and freedom of speech. Liberalism is dynamic and does not cling to one place, but adapts to circumstances while maintaining principle. Liberalism distrusts too much power in one place and liberalism stands for the freedom of the individual.
“Liberalism supports group rights such as teaching in Afrikaans, but not group thinking in which someone is judged on his ethnicity.
“As a DA leader, that is what I will strive for, and it will make the DA stronger,” Steenhuisen