How the DA lost the black vote

Helen Zille. (Photo by Gallo Images / Netwerk24 / Jaco Marais).

Helen Zille. (Photo by Gallo Images / Netwerk24 / Jaco Marais).

The black leadership they have put before us is no more than window-dressing and these individuals have no real political clout.

In 2014, the Democratic Alliance (DA) made great strides in garnering the black vote. Fast-forward to 2019 and they lost a lot of that very same support and even some of the white vote.

We look at the Freedom Front Plus being one of the stars of the general election, but we should also look at how the DA have gone in the opposite direction.

How did a party that seemed to have a strategy that was sound and seen as pioneering in 2014 fall so short in 2019? In 2009 and 2014, so determined was I that I would not be party to bringing to power Jacob Zuma’s ANC that I adopted the DA as my new political home. There it was, a party with an educated, liberal woman at its helm, surrounded by a younger African woman in the form of Lindiwe Mazibuko and an older, more experienced woman, in aunty Patricia de Lille.

Also, it was led by a suave young man from Soweto, Mmusi Maimane. In my eyes, the DA was making all the right moves. It seemed to live true to the idea that colour had no bearing on their membership – the DA was the African dream!

But it was in their inaction in terms of all things race-related that the DA could never fully enjoy my vote. The same DA includes Helen Zille, who conducts herself as she pleases with very little consequences in the event she may offend the same voters the party seeks to attract.

Her Twitter rants irked black voters so much that they cost the party on May 8. It’s of absolutely no surprise that the ANC and Economic Freedom Fighters find it very easy to poke holes in the DA’s fairy tale of nonracialism when their leadership is so guilty of the opposite.

It is in their inaction when it comes to all matters black that we fail to relate to the DA. The black leadership they have put before us is no more than window-dressing and these individuals have no real political clout. That is exactly what we are rejecting.

Kekeletso Nakeli-Dhliwayo.

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