/ 25 March 2024

Democratic Alliance unveils 11 new candidates on election lists 

Ian Cameron
Ian Cameron, one of the party's "fresh faces", with other candidates in the background, during a media briefing on Monday. Photo: @Our_DA/X

The Democratic Alliance (DA) has released the names of 11 of its new candidates for national and provincial government ahead of the 29 May elections.

The new candidates include community safety activist Ian Cameron, Liam Jacobs (leader of the DA Students Organisation), economist Mondli Mdluli, Khathutshelo Rasilingwane (DA deputy chief whip in Ekurhuleni) and former Nelson Mandela Bay MMC for roads, Kabelo Mogatosi.

Speaking during a media briefing at the party’s headquarters in Johannesburg on Monday, leader John Steenhuisen said the announcement brings to conclusion a 10-month process that assessed the performance of incumbent members of parliament and provincial legislatures, and vetted new candidates.

He said that through the party’s candidate selection programme, conceived and executed by federal council chairperson Helen Zille, the DA had sought the very best and brightest and put them through their paces on a number of different metrics.

Introducing the new candidates, he said the party was guided by its values and principles of freedom, fairness, opportunity, diversity, and belief in a meritocratic system of appointment to appoint those who would be their representatives in parliamentary and legislative caucuses. 

“These new candidates are diverse in race, gender and skill, and come from a variety of different backgrounds and professional careers. No other party in South Africa boasts the diversity of candidates that the DA offers South Africa,” he said.

“While the political left and right offer only a monochromatic and skewed representation of South African society, the DA comprises South Africans from every background and from all walks of life to ensure that governance is carried out with the needs of each and every citizen in mind.”

Cameron, who is widely known for his crime activism, said his focus would be on crime and the justice system, because that is what he knows.  

Despite having no experience in government, Cameron said he would challenge anyone to spend time with the drug and gang task team in Cape Town, as he had done in the past.

“It’s easy to criticise politics but those critiquing are not willing to roll up their sleeves,” he said. 

Zille said that of the party’s top 30 on the national list, 14 candidates were women. 

She said women got through on their own merit. “We don’t do quotas for women, we never have and we never will. We have women applying, competing and winning. That is what they have done if you look at the top 30 of the national list. We are very pleased with that,” she said.

Candidates who still believed that the processes were not fairly followed had a right to appeal. 

Zille said the party believed the process was fair, which was why there had been a  relatively smooth outcome and commitment to abide by the candidate selection process.