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By Hein Kaiser


Steenhuisen victim of ‘self-sabotage’ by DA’s social media team, says analyst

What could have been an excellent interview was marred by a joke that went one step too far.

Democratic Alliance (DA) leader John Steenhuisen made two contributions to politics this week, each at opposite ends of the scale and on the same podcast.

The party leader spoke on Podcast and Chill on Thursday.

In the hour and 18-minute-long interview Steenhuisen addressed several topics important to the electorate, and cracked a joke every now and then.

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But what could have been an excellent interview was marred by a joke that went one step too far.

When host MacGyver Mukwevho, better known as MacG, asked Steenhuisen flippantly what he understood roadkill to be, the party leader answered that it sounded like his ex-wife.

One minute of ridiculousness made the headlines and may have negated a conversation of real substance.

And it was the DA themselves that pulled the trigger.

Digital analyst Carmen Murray was surprised that a social media team would be as irresponsible.

She said: “To post the worst aspect of an otherwise informative and interesting podcast where Steenhuisen shows off both admirable leadership, policy and a good sense of humour was self-sabotage by the party.”

She said it placed Steenhuisen in a bad light when, in context, sexism may have never been his intention.

Steenhuisen said to The Citizen: “It’s a comedy podcast, not BBC Hard Talk, it is meant to be funny.” On balance Murray lauded the podcast’s content and emphasised that the DA’s communications team could have used any of the other 77 minutes of substance in the material.

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She said: “It was an utterly convincing conversation that had the potential of convincing even the most cynical voter to draw the x next to the DA next time round. A joke in a grey area, in Women’s Month, should have been flagged and not promoted.”

Former DA MP Mbali Ntuli posted: “Why would you promote a tweet where the leader of the opposition refers to his ex-wife and mother of his kids as roadkill. What is the joke here?”

Murray said that there had been some damage to the party and negative sentiment ramped up on social media.

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Democratic Alliance (DA) John Steenhuisen MacG

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