'Anyone who thinks race is not an issue in South Africa is naive' - Steenhuisen

The Democratic Alliance's new parliamentary leader John Steenhuisen has admitted that while the circumstances surrounding his appointment "aren't great", he's looking forward to getting to work.

The party's former chief whip was elected unopposed on Sunday, following the resignation of Mmusi Maimane last week.

It's not the first or the last difficult week that we've had or we will have.

John Steenhuisen, Parliamentary leader - Democratic Alliance

Steenhuisen says the focus of the party continues to be building the core opposition to the ruling party but remained coy when asked whether his ultimate aim is to become party leader.

I think that's a bit premature, I've only been in this job for less than 24 hours.

John Steenhuisen, Parliamentary leader - Democratic Alliance

There has been growing concern that the DA is yearning to return to its liberal roots at the expense of the black constituency in the party.

Steenhuisen disagrees:

I think if one looks at leadership that's been developed over the course of the last 7 years within the DA and the advancement of individuals, not based on the colour of their skin but on ability, 8 of the 9 provincial leaders are black South Africans.

John Steenhuisen, Parliamentary leader - Democratic Alliance

These are people who got into these positions because they were the right people for the job.

John Steenhuisen, Parliamentary leader - Democratic Alliance

Steenhuisen also responded to comments made last week by former Johannesburg Mayor Herman Mashaba during his resignation that he refuses to align himself with those who 'think race is irrelevant.

Anyone who thinks race is not an issue in South Africa is naive.

John Steenhuisen, Parliamentary leader - Democratic Alliance

However, I think race-based policy is very damaging to South Africa and it's future.

John Steenhuisen, Parliamentary leader - Democratic Alliance

Listen to the full interview below:


Recommended

by NEWSROOM AI
Read More
Tweeps take a jibe at John Steenhuisen, the DA's new parliamentary leader

Tweeps take a jibe at John Steenhuisen, the DA's new parliamentary leader

John Steenhuisen was elected unopposed as the DA's new parliamentary leader, the party confirmed on Sunday.

DA to elect new parliamentary leader next week

DA to elect new parliamentary leader next week

The party caucus in Parliament is looking for a new leader after Mmusi Maimane stepped down from all his duties.

Steenhuisen in the running to lead DA caucus in Parliament

Steenhuisen in the running to lead DA caucus in Parliament

Democratic Alliance MP John Steenhuisen has confirmed that he has accepted nomination to become party's parliamentary leader.

[WATCH] Aunty Pat serenades Mmusi with farewell ditty

[WATCH] Aunty Pat serenades Mmusi with farewell ditty

Patricia de Lille sings goodbye to Mmusi Maimane as the exits the Democratic Alliance.

 Steenhuisen loses chief whip role after Maimane's resignation

Steenhuisen loses chief whip role after Maimane's resignation

John Steenhuisen says his term as DA's chief whip in Parliament ended when Mmusi Maimane announced his resignation.

Popular articles
Can’t find your phone? Drop everything – thieves can get into your banking app!

Can’t find your phone? Drop everything – thieves can get into your banking app!

Did someone steal your phone? Contact your bank without hesitation warns consumer journalist Wendy Knowler.

'Unions are making a mistake. SAA is dying. It’s not Eskom – we don’t need it'

'Unions are making a mistake. SAA is dying. It’s not Eskom – we don’t need it'

SAA is on its knees, cap in hand, asking taxpayers for R2 billion this month. Unions must be careful, warns Guy Leitch (SA Flyer).

[WATCH] Jozi motorist avoids hailstorm with inventive way to cover car

[WATCH] Jozi motorist avoids hailstorm with inventive way to cover car

Khabazela shares tweets and Facebook posts that have gone viral.

White pupils at posh Kingswood College refer to black scholars as 'snoobab'

White pupils at posh Kingswood College refer to black scholars as 'snoobab'

"This problem is bigger than just a Kingswood problem. The relevant processes will unfold," says College Head Colleen Vassiliou.

Investors need to understand redress and sensitivities, says Eusebius

Investors need to understand redress and sensitivities, says Eusebius

Eusebius engages callers on the Richard Branson tweet that has been widely criticised for lacking diversity.

[WATCH] Pre-school class erupts as boy returns from RWC, goes viral

[WATCH] Pre-school class erupts as boy returns from RWC, goes viral

Khabazela shares tweets and Facebook posts that have gone viral.

We’ll shut you down! – unions to SAA ('overstaffed by any measure globally’)

We’ll shut you down! – unions to SAA ('overstaffed by any measure globally’)

The money-pit airline is fighting for its life. Bruce Whitfield interviews Theto Mahlakoana, a senior political reporter at EWN.

[WATCH] Gay teen fights back against school bully as teachers do nothing

[WATCH] Gay teen fights back against school bully as teachers do nothing

Khabazela shares tweets and Facebook posts that have gone viral.