Citizen Reporter
2 minute read
24 Oct 2019
11:03 am

‘Pretty close to the truth’ that whites are leaving the DA, blacks are transforming it – Zille

Citizen Reporter

While some have suggested this week is a continuation of an exodus of black leaders from the party, it's federal council chairperson believes it's quite the opposite.

Helen Zille. Picture: Nigel Sibanda

Following the resignation of Mmusi Maimane as Democratic Alliance (DA) leader, former DA and Institute of Race Relations (IRR) employee Gareth van Onselen slammed what he called “Verwoerdean analysis” of this and other DA resignations.

Van Onselen posted a list of those who have resigned so far, noting that only two are black – Mmusi Maimane and outgoing Johannesburg mayor Herman Mashaba – and that three are white – Athol Trollip, Jonathan Moakes and Paul Boughey.

A Twitter user concluded that this means that “whites are ditching the [DA] and blacks hand in hand with [Helen Zille are] rebuilding and transforming it”.

Zille appears to agree, as she responded that this comment was “pretty close to the truth”.

Van Onselen was likely commenting on those who expressed the view on social media that Maimane’s departure has to do with his race, noting the departure of many of the party’s most prominent black leaders, such as Lindiwe Mazibuko, Patricia De Lille, and Mamphela Ramphele – who joined the party in 2014 and announced she would run for its leadership, only for the deal to fall apart five days later – as well as Mashaba and Maimane this week.

While a party insider told The Citizen that there would be an “exodus” of black leaders if Maimane left, this has not yet taken place, if it will at all.

Magashule Gana, a DA member of the parliamentary legislature in Gauteng, took to Twitter to say he would not be resigning.

“I am running my own race which I started on my own. Tempting as it might be to follow others, I still prefer to run my own race,” he said.

DA MP Phumzile van Damme, meanwhile, responded to someone who asked if she would be resigning with a simple “Nah”.

DA national spokesperson Solly Malatsi told The Citizen that rumours of a “black exodus” from the DA were “just that, rumours”.

(Compiled by Daniel Friedman.) 

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