/ 7 February 2023

DA releases rules of engagement for its elective conference

John Steenhuisen Mpho Phalatse 429933
DA leader John Steenhuisen. Photo: Getty Images

The Democratic Alliance’s leadership contenders will undergo a rigorous vetting process ahead of its elective conference. 

The party has released a date for its elective conference which will see former Johannesburg mayor Mpho Phalatse face off with the outgoing leader John Steenhuisen

Several provincial elective conferences, including in the Eastern Cape, are expected to take place before the DA  elects its new leader on 1 and 2 April. 

In an internal letter leaked to the media dated 6 February, the party’s presiding officer Greg Krumbock opened nominations for the party’s top positions, including the federal chairperson and the deputy federal chairpersons.

Members of the federal council, the DA’s highest decision-making body in between conferences will also be nominated as well as the chair and deputy chair of the federal council and a federal chairperson of finance.

Interested parties will have to submit a certificate of good financial standing obtained from their provincial director, a signed declaration as well as a signed DA’s standards of conduct for internal elections for approval.  

“Failing to submit these documents or to complete the nomination form in full, may render

the nomination invalid and aspirant candidates are therefore requested to ensure that these documents are submitted with their application,” the letter reads. 

Those wishing to contest positions will have to be seconded by valid members of the party. 

“Nominations received will be interrogated by the federal compliance department in consultation with the presiding officers, to confirm the validity of nominations, interested individuals, proposers and seconders. Once the vetting process is completed, the presiding officers will announce the candidates for the various positions via a circular to party structures,” it said.  

The party stipulates that candidates and their supporters may contribute and raise funds for the campaigns however no donor may be approached unless the national fundraising department certifies the donor is not on the national database of donors. 

The letter stated that existing donors to the party may not be approached by any person or entity to solicit a donation in cash or in kind, to any internal party election. It also added that all donations received must be declared within 72 hours to the chief executive for federal elections, the provincial directors and the relevant legislature. 

“It is the responsibility of each candidate to ensure that all donations received for internal elections are deposited into the main fundraising bank account and are referenced appropriately.”

It states that candidates must designate a person who will be responsible for the disbursement of funds and keeping a register of donations. Funds raised by donations that are unexpended after the election has been concluded must be paid over to the party, it said. 

The candidates may be called to account for funds raised if there are reasonable grounds to believe that one or more aspects of these standards are not being adhered to.