DA unveils candidates for elections 2024 – John Steenhuisen

Mlondi Mdluli, Ian Cameron, Kabelo Kgobisa, among names on list

DA unveils candidates for NPE 2024 to Rescue South Africa

25 March 2024

Today, the Democratic Alliance (DA) publicly released its candidates for the 2024 National and Provincial Elections (NPE 2024). This brings to conclusion a 10-month-long process that both measured and assessed the performance of incumbent members of parliament and provincial legislatures, and tested and vetted some of the very best new candidates South Africa has to offer.

Through the party’s Candidate Selection Programme, conceived and executed by the DA’s Federal Council Chairperson, Helen Zille, our party has sought the very best and brightest individuals South Africa has to offer, and put them through their paces on a number of different metrics. Guided by the DA’s values and principles of freedom, fairness, opportunity, and diversity, and our belief in a meritocratic system of appointment, we are very excited to introduce to you today some of the new faces that will be joining our parliamentary and legislative caucuses around the country.

South Africans already know the DA’s veteran politicians who have served diligently over a series of terms, but we wanted to introduce the country to some of the new and exciting candidates who have made the DA not only their political home, but the political vehicle through which they will bring hope and change to citizens, and Rescue South Africa from decades of ANC corruption and decay.

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. While the political left and right offer only a monochromatic and skewed representation of South Africa 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.

These candidates before you are united by a shared belief in the DA’s founding principles of non-racialism, a social market economy, a capable state free of corruption and cadre deployment, and respect for the constitution and the rule of law. Among them, we have corruption busters, subject matter experts and specialists, and a series of high-performing and accomplished mayors, members of mayoral committees, and councillors.

The candidates unveiled to South Africa today are as follows:

1. Jeanne Adriaanse (Senior Councillor in JB Marks)
2. Mlondi Mdluli (Economist at a leading think tank)
3. Edwin Macrae Bath (Public Sector Built Environment Specialist)
4. Khathutshelo Rasilingwane (Deputy Chief Whip of the DA in Ekurhuleni)
5. Mark Burke (PhD in Econometrics from Cambridge)
6. Ian Cameron (Leading Community Safety Activist)
7. Liam Jacobs (Leader of the DA Students Organisation)
8. Kabelo Kgobisa (COO of a major communications firm)
9. Dulandi Leech (Senior Councillor in Mangaung)
10. Karl Le Roux (Medical Doctor)
11. Kabelo Mogatosi (former MMC for Roads in NMB)

By ensuring that these candidates are selected based on merit and performance, the DA has ensured that any potential government configuration after NPE 2024 will have the very best South Africans working as legislators for the benefit of all citizens. This includes many current members of parliament who fight on behalf of our country under the DA banner.

Imagine the Department of Justice and Correctional Services run by Minister Glynnis Breytenbach to administer justice, fight corruption, and properly resource and capacitate the National Prosecuting Authority. Imagine a government where Siviwe Gwarube ensures that parliament is the legislative engine of reform and accountability, and not just a rubber stamp for the executive. Imagine a government free of cadres with the skills and expertise to end load shedding and water shedding, to grow the economy and create jobs, and to deliver meaningful redress where it is needed most.

All of these talented and capable South Africans came into the DA and to serve our country by the comprehensive and rigorous Candidate Selection Process that sets the DA apart from all other parties. I am very proud to have gone through this process myself, setting a clear example that even existing leaders within the party are not exempt from meritocratic process and the performance management that citizens expect from their government and public representatives.

Contrary to certain narratives driven by the commentariat, the DA’s candidates are not chosen based on their political allegiance or their proximity to senior politicians. The entire Candidate Selection Process was created to ensure that meritocracy continues to prevail in our party’s ranks, offering the best our country has to offer.

As a sign of confidence in this process, the Independent Electoral Commission (IEC) confirmed just yesterday that not a single candidate on the DA’s lists appeared on the lists of any other political party. This confirms the candidates’ belief in, and allegiance to the DA, as well as the integrity of our people and our systems and processes. We are very proud of this.

I am also incredibly proud and grateful to the retiring members of parliament and provincial legislatures who have worked tirelessly for the interests of all South Africans, and grown the DA across communities over the past decades. I want to thank them for their service to South Africa and to our party, and reassure them that their shoes will be filled by a batch of new South Africans who will continue this fight.

The Candidate Selection Process was conducted as follows, and along the following timeline:

1. Call for Applications (April 2023 – June 2023)

The call for applications opened not only to all DA members, but all persons who shared our values who could best represent South Africans in parliament and the provincial legislatures.

2. Screening Committee (June 2023 – July 2023)

Screening committees were established in each province to assess applicants' CVs, ensuring alignment with pre-defined criteria to ensure that candidates were fit for purpose and to verify qualifications and degree certificates.

3. Potential Candidates Programme (PCP) – (August 2023)

Applicants then had to write four proctored exams on broad and relevant subject matter that we called our Potential Candidates Programme (PCP). This programme consisted of four separate and detailed modules, evaluating an applicant’s understanding of :

- The history of the Democratic Alliance and the party’s values and principles;
- The South African Constitution;
- The role of a DA MP/MPL and the key personal attributes needed to be a public representative, such as ethics and integrity, probity, resilience, and grit; and
- Political leadership.

The minimum pass mark was an average of 80% across the four tests.

4. Electoral College (September 2023)

Successful applicants then appeared before an electoral college comprised of elected representatives from DA constituencies, which represented DA branches in each province. Applicants were scored against a scoring matrix, with the top 25% advancing automatically, the bottom 25% eliminated, and the remaining candidates voted upon by the electoral colleges.

5. Duly Performed Certificate (DPC) for Sitting Representatives (November 2023 – January 2024)

Sitting MPs, MPLs, and Councillors for the DA were subject to a duly performed certificate to ensure that they had been doing their work as public representatives over their term, and persons who did not make the criteria were then eliminated from the process.

6. Five-Year Performance Review (November 2023 – January 2024)

Sitting representatives meeting initial criteria underwent a five-year performance review by their caucuses and provinces to ensure that they were fulfilling their duties to the legislatures (including on law-making and committee work), their duties to constituents, and their duties to the party, with scores integrated into the candidate selection system.

7. Fit for Purpose Test (October 2023)

Candidates then had to write a fit for purpose test. This included two modules:

1. A political orientation assessment to ensure that candidates could apply our values to difficult circumstances, and to navigate any number of precarious issues by using first principle; and

2. A test on the role and functions of a member of parliament or a provincial legislature. Candidates were also required to write an original piece, such as a speech or an opinion piece, and this was marked by an external team based at a leading university. This was proctored and we used software to detect plagiarism and the use of any Artificial Intelligence. Candidates who did so got a score of zero. The scores from these tests were fed into the candidate selection system.

8. Interview Process (November 2023 – January 2024)

Candidates were then invited to attend an interview within their province to a candidate selection committee, where they were given 10 minutes to write a 5 minute speech on an unseen topic, and then had a series of questions on law-making, the constitution, parliament, serving constituents, and other key functions, against which they were scored.

9. Scoring and Ranking (January 2024 – February 2024)

All scores were collated, with each candidate's ranking reflecting their raw score achieved throughout the process.

10. Selection Panel Review (February 2024)

Final collated scores, from performance reviews, interviews and tests, were presented to selection panels to finalise candidate lists.

11. Final Review and Ratification (March 2024)

The provincial and federal executives reviewed and ratified the final candidate lists.

The DA is incredibly proud to have led a thorough and comprehensive Candidate Selection Process to ensure that only the best possible candidates for parliament and provincial legislatures are elected. The full list of all candidates can be downloaded here:

We are immensely proud of the diversity of candidates we have attracted, and carefully selected to best represent the hopes and dreams of millions of South Africans, and to Rescue South Africa from decades of ANC corruption and decay.

Issued by John Steenhuisen and Helen Zille, 25 March 2024