- Even John Steenhuisen can admit that the circumstances surrounding his rise to DA Parliamentary leader aren't ideal
- Nevertheless, the former chief whip is looking forward to getting to work in his new position
- Steenhuisen says that those who believe race isn't an issue in SA are naive at best
John Steenhuisen is the first to admit that the circumstances leading up to his appointment as the DA's Parliamentary leader aren't great.
Briefly.co.za reported that the former chief whip had stepped in to fill Mmusi Maimane's shoes as the party's head representative in the National Assembly.
Speaking to 702, Steenhuisen says that the embattled opposition party is focused on building itself up again:
"It's not the first or the last difficult week that we've had or we will have."
Speaking on the party's alleged yearning to return to its liberal ways at the expense of African representation, Steenhuisen commented:
"I think if one looks at leadership that's been developed over the course of the last 7 years within the DA and the advancement of individuals, not based on the colour of their skin but on ability, 8 of the 9 provincial leaders are black South Africans."
Reacting to Herman Mashaba's claim that he refused to align himself with people who 'think race is irrelevant', Steenhuisen said:
"Anyone who thinks race is not an issue in South Africa is naive. However, I think race-based policy is very damaging to South Africa and it's future."
The Joburg mayor, along with Mmusi Maimane and Athol Trollip, had all resigned following Helen Zille's return to the party as federal council chairperson.
This had left the DA with a leadership 'vacuum', resulting in the need for emergency elections to appoint a temporary leader and Federal Executive chair.
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