DA's Mbali Ntuli calls for a halt to annual general meetings and online elective congress
DA leadership hopeful Mbali Ntuli has called on the party to cancel its plans to hold an elective congress online and for members to insist that branch meetings be halted.
According to Ntuli, the online event would not afford many the chance to have “difficult” conversations due to technical difficulties, and holding branch meetings, known as annual general meetings (AGM), would put the party's members at risk and leave some out of the process.
The branch meetings are set to take place on August 31, however Ntuli said it would be “irresponsible” to hold these “during the peak of Covid-19".
She said it would be too risky, with many members expected to gather in halls and take public transport to participate in the meetings that must be held before electing a leader.
“Holding AGMs in August during the peak of Covid-19 will put our members and staff who will have to oversee these meetings at risk of contracting the virus.
“We will be asking members to get into taxis, sit in a hall, hold an AGM all so we can elect a leader in October. It is irresponsible,” she said.
Ntuli is recovering after contracting Covid-19 earlier this month.
She credited her recovery to “luck”, being “young” and having “access to great medical care”.
Ntuli said should the online congress proceed, many will be robbed of the opportunity to voice their opinions that could contribute to shaping the future of the DA.
“We need to have difficult conversations about who we are, who we fight for, and how we are still able to be a unified party. We can’t have those difficult conversations if we have an online congress and contribute to really shaping what our party looks like in the future,” she said.
When asked for comment, DA spokesperson Solly Malatsi told TimesLIVE on Thursday, “The federal council is meeting at the weekend to discuss, among others, the recommendation by the federal executive to host a virtual congress.”
A councillor in my constituency was hospitalized because of Covid because the nature of working in a constituency like Umlazi means dealing directly with constituents.There is no ability to work in a constituency like ours via telephone or email.We must reject the online congress pic.twitter.com/EFSAp9hQr3— Mbali Ntuli (@mbalimcdust) July 22, 2020