In her desperate attempt to meet the target she and her party have set themselves – taking over government in 2019 – Zille made an error of judgment that has done immeasurable damage to her party.
It will take a considerable amount of time and effort to undo the harm this blunder has caused Zille and the DA.
Zille is aware that without the overwhelming support of blacks, who are by far the majority racial group in South Africa, her party’s chances of defeating the ANC at the polls are nonexistent.
In an effort to make the DA appealing to this section of voters, Zille made a rushed decision to offer renowned academic and struggle veteran Ramphele the position of DA presidential candidate in this year’s elections – without subjecting her to the internal party leadership contest procedures.
Now that the move has backfired spectacularly, the DA’s major headache is whether to go to the polls with Zille as the face of the party or find a suitable and credible black candidate without the party being accused of political fronting.
Either way, the nightmare won’t go away.