Don’t write the DA off just yet. Intriguing things are starting ...

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Don’t write the DA off just yet. Intriguing things are starting to happen

Many assume the party isn’t interested in black voters any more. Well, soon they might have to think again

Columnist

People write off the DA, but the party, hammered and embarrassed in the general election last year and in subsequent by-elections, is entering a period of reflection and contestation that may well strengthen it.

It is easy to dismiss the DA as a party for whites, and there are thousands of people on social and conventional media who do. It is fashionable to mock it, and since the dramatic departures of former leader Mmusi Maimane and former Johannesburg mayor Herman Mashaba late last year, it is assumed the DA’s interest in black voters has now basically come to an end.

But a few things have happened in the past few days that may turn that on its head. First, long-serving KwaZulu-Natal MPL Mbali Ntuli has put up her hand to challenge interim leader John Steenhuisen for the party leadership at its next congress in May. Ntuli is not to be lightly dismissed. She’s just 31, but she’s been in the DA for ages, knocking on doors in dark and dangerous places in the province. She is not being parachuted into a top job like Maimane was...

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