The Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF) has released a statement on the resignation of former Democratic Alliance (DA) leader Mmusi Maimane as party leader, as a member of the party, and as its leader in parliament.
The party expressed “disappointment” at Maimane stepping down despite, in their view, being neither corrupt nor incompetent.
“Many leaders have had to step down because of corruption, incompetence, or outright criminality. Many more occupy positions of leadership in government without even a single ounce of competence, they are corrupt and ethically disreputable. Yet a capable non-corrupt and absolutely ethically upright man has to leave his role because white people, based on their whiteness, no longer approve of him,” the statement says.
“The resignation of Maimane must go down in history as a fundamental failure of non-racialism and democratic tolerance in the Democratic Alliance.”
The party praised Maimane for working with them following the 2016 municipal elections.
“As the EFF we worked with him to unseat the irreparably corrupt ANC following the outcome of the 2016 local government elections.
“As leader of a white-dominated DA, we could hold his hand in protests that required all of us to put the country above ideological differences. This is also because of his tenacity and absolute willingness to hear and work out different perspectives.
“Maimane almost always faced an impossible task in leading the DA to transcend its white-dominated nature. The idea that one day, it could be reflective of the South African demographics, in that blacks could be a majority, seems to have died or [is] impossible in its DNA.”
The EFF believes the departure of Maimane exposes the DA as being a “white” political party.
“It is a white political party in which whites and their interests as whites must always dominate and come first. In essence, it is a white-first political party!
“We wish Maimane well and congratulate him for not hiding the racial contradiction. We commend him for exposing it and allowing it to explode into the open so our people can see the DA for what it truly is: a party that cannot be an alternative to the ruling ANC.”
This is a reference to comments made by Maimane during his resignation speech when stepping down as DA leader on Wednesday. He slammed the party’s approach to diversity and nonracialism, saying that “in the end, we have come to the conclusion that despite my best efforts, the DA is not the vehicle best suited to take forward the vision of building one South Africa for all”.
“As a liberal social democratic, he now knows that colonial racism requires a much more radical platform,” the EFF statement says.
“It is not about the ideological framework one holds, it is the simple facts that whites actually fundamentally refuse black leadership. It is impossible to imagine that had it been a white leader at the helm, they would have reached the types of analytic conclusions they did on Maimane. Moreover, that many would have sought his immediate disposal as leader in the way they did.”
The statement ends by advising Maimane to “be strong and not lose courage”.
“The sun will shine on a non-racial, equal, and just society one day; but that day will be brought by black people who will build a human world for all races.”
EFF Statement on Mmusi Maimane’s Resignation as Leader of the Official Opposition and Member of Parliament. pic.twitter.com/m22M8x2d9H
— Economic Freedom Fighters (@EFFSouthAfrica) October 24, 2019
(Compiled by Daniel Friedman.)