EDITORIAL | Let’s face DA facts, Steenhuisen is a flop as leader

Ideas

EDITORIAL | Let’s face DA facts, Steenhuisen is a flop as leader

With the ANC at a low ebb, a fractured, directionless DA under him looks incapable of exploiting this opportunity

Editorial

After the DA’s dismal performance in the 2019 elections, when it went down from 22% in 2014 to just over 20% that year, the party appointed an independent panel to conduct a review of the organisation. It had seen its representation in the national assembly shrink from 89 to 84 seats, after years of steady rise. The panel’s report was scathing on its then leader Mmusi Maimane — about how he had failed to provide proper political direction for the party.

The report painted a directionless party that lacked character and vision. It recommended Maimane and former federal council chair James Selfe step down. Fortunately for Selfe, he had already jumped ship by the time the report was issued. It was Maimane who had to fall on his sword. “There has been a critical failure of leadership at the top of the party, resulting in confusion about the party’s values and vision, uncertainty about its direction and a fragmentation of its purpose,” said the report that had been compiled by DA boffins, former leader Tony Leon and former CEO Ryan Coetzee.

After a few months of holding the fort, Maimane’s former ally, John Steenhuisen, was elected to the position last year. And he was quick to promise he was the right man to the fix the DA...

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