Elective congress won't be compromised - Zille

Helen Zille and fellow liberals struggle to get it right with racism, as Fred Siegel had observed in his book 'The Revolt Against the Masses'. / ESA ALEXANDER
Helen Zille and fellow liberals struggle to get it right with racism, as Fred Siegel had observed in his book 'The Revolt Against the Masses'. / ESA ALEXANDER
Image: ESA ALEXANDER

Chairperson of the DA's Federal Council Helen Zille has moved to allay fears that the integrity of the party's planned virtual congress will be compromised.

In a letter sent to structures of the party - dated May 26 - Zille said that only the elective aspect of the congress will be online, branches will be given the necessary support, the process will not be data intensive and candidates will have access to delegates digitally and telephonically.

"In its deliberations on this matter on the 16th of May 2020, FedEx decided that we would not hold a full deliberative congress at this stage. The facilitation of such a large gathering discussing topical and controversial issues will require continuous and uninterrupted connectivity and significant amounts of data throughout lengthy proceedings, Zille's circular reads."

"This may result in some delegates facing obstacles to full access, which would be intolerable. We will have to leave such deliberations to a time where we can meet face-to-face again, or where we have overcome the connectivity challenges."

Zille emphasised the need for the election of new leaders to happen this year, before next year's local government elections, saying it would be "untenable" to have interim leadership for two years.

Three members have raised their hands for the top job as the party looks to replace Mmusi Maimane, who resigned in October last year. They are former chief whip and interim leader John Steenhuisen, Gauteng leader John Moodey and KZN MPL Mbali Ntuli.

Steenhuisen has thrown his weight behind the virtual elective congress, saying that FedEx is merely implementing the resolutions of last year's Federal Council.

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