On Monday, a debate between DA leadership rivals Mbali Ntuli and John Steenhuisen finally took place - but in line with new campaign rules, it could be viewed only by party members. This follows the federal council's decision to crack down on external engagement with the DA leadership contest, to be settled by a vote at the national congress this weekend.
DA leadership contenders Mbali Ntuli and John Steenhuisen finally went head-to-head on Monday, in a debate which Ntuli has been requesting for months. But rather than being accessible to the South African public at large, as Ntuli had advocated, the debate was aired only to the 2,000 delegates eligible to cast votes at the DA's federal congress on 31 October and 1 November.
Party members were also barred from discussing the debate on social media or in any public forum.
Daily Maverick understands that the two-hour debate was broadcast from the DA headquarters in Gardens, Cape Town, with both Steenhuisen and Ntuli physically present. Also present was debate moderator Xanthea Limberg, a Cape Town City councillor and member of the Cape Town City Council mayoral committee.
The debate reportedly began with a short statement from Steenhuisen and Ntuli in...