Newly elected DA leader John Steenhuisen has promised to correct the mistakes made by his party in his acceptance speech after a landslide victory to win the party’s leadership on Sunday.
Steenhuisen, has been serving as the DA’s interim leader ever since Mmusi Maimane and a host of other senior black figures in the party resigned in October last year. Running against Mbali Ntuli for the party’s top position, he said that the DA would, under his leadership, offer “people power” and move away from the ANC-led government’s model of state control.
“We are going to fight and give ownership to every law-abiding, honest and hardworking citizen regardless of their background, to build a life that they value,” he said, as reported by IOL.
The 44-year-old also said that the party will be moving away from “populist shortcuts” and aiming to provide economic opportunities for all.
“People have had endless debates about the meaning of liberalism in today’s world. For me, liberalism in its purest form is a commitment to give power to the people so that they can decide for themselves how to build lives of value,” he continued.
“There have been times when the DA failed to be a dependable ally in the people’s fight for power and for a while we lost sight of who we were and what we offer – clear principled and decisive leadership.
Steenhuisen added that the mistakes made by the DA in the past don’t have to be detrimental to the party going forward.
“Fortunately, mistakes don’t have to be fatal provided we learn the lessons from them,” Steenhuisen said.