DA leadership candidate Ntuli hits out at Gibson for questioning her experience

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The party’s former parliamentary chief whip, Douglas Gibson, told Eyewitness News that Ntuli has contested too early and that the DA must elect Steenhuisen, whom he views as matured and experienced.

Mbali Ntuli officially announced her decision to run for the leadership role of the Democratic Alliance. Picture: Xanderleigh Dookey/EWN.

DURBAN – Former Democratic Alliance (DA) youth leader Mbali Ntuli has taken issue with her age being used to suggest that she cannot lead the country’s official opposition.

This weekend, Ntuli is set to come up against DA interim leader John Steenhuisen in a contest to lead the party over the next three years.

The party’s former parliamentary chief whip, Douglas Gibson, told Eyewitness News that Ntuli has contested too early and that the DA must elect Steenhuisen, whom he views as matured and experienced.

However, Ntuli has not taken kindly to this.

She said that Gibson should just express his support for Steenhuisen without looking down on her age, saying that he had misdefined her.

“Views like Douglas is making right now are exactly why people in my generation should be running because you clearly see that there’s always going to be this gatekeeping mechanism that’s not going to allow people to take up the baton. When would that time be, when can we say that young people are ready? Is it at 40, at 44? I have 14 years of experience, I have a lot more experience than some people that are older than me and have just entered politics.”

She has expressed optimism ahead of the elective congress this weekend.

“We’ve tried to reach every single delegate, so I think that win or lose, people can definitely say we’ve definitely run a campaign and we’ve sustained it for nine months.”

Ntuli has however raised a concern that campaigning rules were changed during the party’s internal electioneering season, saying that this had led to the impression that candidates were constrained when campaigning.

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