News / South Africa / Politics

Gopolang Moloko
2 minute read
7 Feb 2019
5:01 pm

This is Ramaphosa’s last Sona – Maimane

Gopolang Moloko

It has been reported that if the DA does not grow beyond 22%, Maimane’s detractors will seek to use this as a reason for his removal.

DA Leader Mmusi Maimane. Picture: Neil McCartney

The Democratic Alliance leader appears to be convinced that President Cyril Ramaphosa will be delivering his last state of the nation address tonight, as he won’t be president next year.

“I’m hoping that this year the tsotsis will be arrested,” he said.

Answering a question on the DA’s political growth, he said they were above where they were before and the party was engaged in many other areas. He predicted that the DA would come to power in this year’s elections, perhaps through coalition government.

“I’m proud of the DA. The DA will show you at the end of these elections … this is Mr Ramaphosa’s last state of the nation address.”

However, Maimane himself can also not be guaranteed to stay at the helm of power either.

He is reportedly under pressure to deliver results in the upcoming elections. It has been reported that if the DA does not grow beyond its current 22%, Maimane’s detractors will seek to use this as a reason for his removal and that they may even try to hold an early party elective congress.

The Citizen reported last week that, according to analysts Somadoda Fikeni and Ralph Mathekga, the resignation of DA head of policy Gwen Ngwenya was a disaster for the party and clearly shows that it is divided, with a faction mainly representing its black members and another mainly representing its white members, who are believed to control the party as a think-tank.

This appears to be in line with a Daily Maverick report in August 2018. The publication said that there was a battle of wills within the party between “traditional liberals” and “a more radical faction bent on racial transformation”.

This battle came to the fore when Maimane made comments about “white privilege” at a Freedom Day rally in May 2018, and was taken to task by three DA members thought to be part of the party’s “liberal” grouping – chief whip John Steenhuisen, his deputy Mike Waters, and MP Natasha Mazzone.

Earlier in the year, two MPs who would also likely be considered to be among those sitting on the “liberal” side of the fence, Gavin Davis and Michael Cardo, altered the wording of a diversity clause in the party’s constitution. Their alterations included a clause specifically stating that the party rejected racial quotas.

(Compiled by Gopolang Chawane, additional reporting by Eric Naki)

For more news your way, download The Citizen’s app for iOS and Android.