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Mbali Ntuli dumps the DA

The DA continues to steadily haemorrhage talented black leaders. Last Thursday Mbali Ntuli, who was recently in the running to become the DA’s leader, quit the party and decried the poor state of South African politics. 

Ntuli was a shining example of the DA’s laudable attempts to “grow its one timber”. She joined the party as a teen and quickly rose through its ranks to head its youth structure, then embarked on an impressive career as a local legislator in KZN, growing the DA’s reach in rural areas. Along the way she had repeated run-ins with then leader Zille and was treated increasingly poorly by a party that’s shown itself to be hostile to its black leaders. 

But it’s not just the DA she’s gatvol of. Speaking to News24 last week, Ntuli said: “I am tired of politicians, who are not prepared to do the hard work, but want some of the perks that come with it… Those people are not taking their jobs seriously, and no one is taking them to account because of the way our political party system is set up.”

She’s been on the political scene for 15 years but she’s still just 33 years old and clearly has a fire in her belly. We have high hopes for her next move. 

You might be wondering why all this politicking matters. It’s simple: both the ANC and the official opposition DA are waning forces. Politics can stay the same for decades – like the years the ANC dominated the polls – and then change very suddenly. Our politics are currently in a state of great flux as we enter the messy world of coalition governments and new parties. Keeping an eye on these shifts is a good way to help you decide how to vote and how to mobilise beyond the polls.

 This article appeared as part of The Wrap, 24 March  2022. Sign up to receive our weekly updates.