Editorials 15.8.2018 08:40 am

DA leaders must think before tweeting

Hellen Zille at a Workers' Day celebration on the Midvaal near Meyerton, South Africa on May 1, 2012. (Photo by Gallo Images / Foto24 / Lucky Maibi)

Hellen Zille at a Workers' Day celebration on the Midvaal near Meyerton, South Africa on May 1, 2012. (Photo by Gallo Images / Foto24 / Lucky Maibi)

Some of the party’s leaders seem to fire off their pearls of wisdom regardless of the potential harm these can do to the organisation.

By all accounts, the Democratic Alliance’s field workers and some of its politicians are doing sterling work, out of the limelight, in trying to ensure that democracy survives and that government is held accountable.

That is, to steal (how ironic) a phrase from the ANC, a good story to tell indeed.

Yet, some of the party’s leaders cannot seem to keep their Twitter fingers in check and fire off their pearls of wisdom regardless of the potential harm these can do to the organisation.

So, this week we had the spectacle – yet again – of Helen Zille seeming to defend apartheid and Joburg mayor Herman Mashaba jumping in with a paean of praise for US President Donald Trump.

We can sit until the cows come home to the Gupta Estina dairy farm project (which the DA has pursued with credible vigour) debating the essence of the tweets.

But the fact remains, they were both inflammatory and not conducive to the DA winning friends, i.e. voters, and influencing people.

That possibility should have occurred to both Zille and Mashaba, who are not novices in the game of politics.

And the golden rule in that game is: sometimes you have to shut up to get up.

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