'Why do you want to make the DA black?' - Coconut Kelz takes on Mbali Ntuli

DA leader hopeful Mbali Ntuli wants to make the DA more inclusive.
DA leader hopeful Mbali Ntuli wants to make the DA more inclusive.
Image: Thuli Dlamini

After months of hard work and campaigning for the DA's leadership position, former KwaZulu-Natal youth leader Mbali Ntuli has taken a lighthearted approach to her campaign.

On Monday, she invited satirist and “number one DA supporter” Coconut Kelz to chat about her vision for the party and convince her to vote for her during the elective conference on Friday.

Kelz, in her infamous condescending and mocking tone, made it clear that while she loves the DA, she was sceptical and questioned why Ntuli wanted to ruin a good thing by making it more black. Kelz, like DA federal chairperson Helen Zille, said apartheid and colonialism were not the worst things to happen to black South Africans.

Here are five interesting moments from their conversation:

Ntuli is from Nkandla, but does this mean Jacob Zuma will join the DA?

“I did hear a weird rumour. Where are you from? Someone said Nkandla and I thought, oh my God! The last time we had a leader from Nkandla ... you know how that went,” said Kelz as she sought clarity on Ntuli's background.

Ntuli explained that she grew up in Durban but has homesteads in rural KwaMaphumulo and Nkandla in KwaZulu-Natal.

South Africans, black or white, are all too familiar with Nkandla as that is where former president Jacob Zuma is from. She joked that Zuma had asked if he could join the party, but she assured Kelz that she would “strongly discourage him” against taking membership should she become the leader of the DA.

What's so special about Ntuli?

Kelz: “Why do you think you can take Helen [Zille] on? I understand that you're saying you have 'experience', which you people love saying you have when you don't. But what makes you think you can take on the leaders? That's wild.”

Ntuli said her running for office should not be seen as taking on any of the leaders on. She said all DA members are equal and have equal opportunities to grow within the party. She said there are no holy cows in politics and that she wants to ensure transparency and accountability should she win.

Speaking negatively against the DA

Kelz: “You speak so negatively about the DA, and I was having a conversation with Karen at Tasha's today and we wondered why you're so negative if you want to be the leader? Why not go back to the township and live there like everybody else?”

Throughout her campaign, Ntuli has been vocal about what she wants to fix in the DA. Some have accused her of trying to get votes by airing the party's dirty laundry in public. She told Kelz that speaking up and having uncomfortable conversations should be seen as a sign of good leadership.

“People in the party need to know that you're the leader who can have those uncomfortable conversations, listen to people and do the right thing afterwards. If we don't do that, we weaken our organisation," said Ntuli.

Why change the DA?

Kelz: “I don't like BEE but I like colonialism. That was great because we spoke English and we dressed properly and had nice hair. I like that and a little bit of apartheid in between. Why don't you just wait your turn and give the older people a chance and you can come back ... never?”

Ntuli said those who say she must “wait her turn” are gatekeepers in politics. She called on young world leaders to challenge the status quo and older leaders to move with the times.

“If we had older leaders who were doing their jobs, then we wouldn't be in this situation. I'd vote for a younger person who can take our country forward ... to a country that works and is inclusive,” she said.

Why would you want to make the DA black?

Kelz: “I want to give you a chance, but I just keep hearing you're going to make the DA black and I'm really scared of black people. It's a phobia of mine, I don't know what to do.”

The former youth leader said as DA leader, she will champion inclusivity and non-racialism.

“You don't have to be scared ... I think everyone who is in the DA and wants to be leader is [there] because they want the utmost best for the organisation and really want to see it moving forward. You can rest assured that when you give me my vote, you won't regret it.”

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