Scenes of excitement outside hotel where Steenhuisen announced as new DA leader

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During an emotional address, Steenhuisen has paid homage to the city of his birth where he started his political career as a councillor in the eThekwini Municipality.

Scenes of excitment following the announcement of John Steenhuisen as the DA’s new leader on Sunday, 1 November 2020. Picture: @JSteenhuisen/Twitter

DURBAN/JOHANNESBURG – There are scenes of jubilation and excitement at a hotel in Durban where John Steenhuisen has been announced as the Democratic Alliance (DA)’s new national leader.

During an emotional address, Steenhuisen has paid homage to the city of his birth where he started his political career as a councillor in the eThekwini Municipality.

His competitor Mbali Ntuli has been among the first people to congratulate him.

A group of DA members could not hold their excitement after Steenhuisen was announced as the leader of the DA for the next three years. They were chanting “John, I love you so much.”

Steenhuisen has promised to lay a foundation for the DA to one day form part of national government.

He’s admitted that the party has made mistakes in the past and this has led to confusion about what it stands for.
He said the days of breaking trust with South Africans were over.

He said going forward, the party go back to advancing its principles of liberalism, non-racialism and ethical governance.

I LOVE THE DA, LOVE SOUTH AFRICA

Steenhuisen has wasted no time talking tough on the way forward for the party.

He said the DA under his leadership would never turn its back on its core liberal values.

Steenhuisen takes over from Mmusi Maimane after a year of acting as interim leader.

It was the announcement by presiding officer Greg Krumbock that finally gave Steenhuisen the mandate he has long been hoping for.

Steenhuisen recalled his days leading up to Saturday, telling delegates he never dreamt that one day he could lead a party like the DA.

But when laying out his political career, he reflected on why he ventured into politics.

“The answer I give today is the exact answer I gave all those years ago; because I love my party and I love my country.”

Most of his acceptance speech focused on the task that awaited the party, which is convincing millions of South Africans to put their trust in the DA and reject the African National Congress.

And while he had been a firm favourite to take this position and did so with a whopping 80% of the votes, he acknowledged Ntuli made him work for the win.

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