DA leader Mmusi Maimane took the opportunity of the first sitting of the party’s Federal council since the elections to blast members who “opted to join the attacks on the party rather than defending it”.
Maimane was adamant that while many of the issues that plagued the party at the recent elections were external, some were internal and he pleaded with members to pull together under times of trouble saying that, even ANC members knew to close ranks and present a united front when it comes to elections.
The party decreased in the polls to just 21% and also lost its official opposition position to the EFF in Mpumalanga.
Maimane said that in many instances its own members had let the party down by being “ill-disciplined” and failing to show unity. He added that on numerous occasions while travelling with Western Cape premier Alan Winde, his own local councillors would attack the DA government in public meetings in front of potential voters.
Issues with Zille
The party’s highly publicised split with Patricia De Lille, as well as numerous fractious comments by former leader Helen Zille on Twitter have also been seen to be extremely damaging to the impression of a united DA, and Maimane announced that an internal disciplinary process had been instituted against Zille, without offering any further details.
Zille is finally it seems being taken to task for her comments that ‘black privilege’ is “being able to loot a country and steal hundreds of billions and get re-elected…”
This is far from the first time Zille has received a backlash for her behaviour on Twitter. Following a trip to Singapore in 2017, Zille took to the social media network to express how colonialism had helped the southeast Asian nation prosper, detailing how the legacy of colonialism on South Africa had been positive.
“What a revelation Singapore has been. I can see why it prospers. Ppl understand the past but work in the present and plan for the future,” she tweeted.
“For those claiming legacy of colonialism was ONLY negative, think of our independent judiciary, transport infrastructure, piped water etc,” she said in response to South African critics.
Obsession with the ANC
Following the election, political analyst Somadoda Fikeni explained that The DA was, “a victim of its own making due to its policy double-speak, poorly managed top echelon and obsession with the ruling ANC, all of which caused its decline.”
Ironically in the same article Fikeni commented that Maimane’s leadership and the party’s obsession with the ANC were both also causes in the ongoing decline.
Maimane has called on the party to “adapt or die” and added that the party needs to take”a big step back and have a fundemental rethink about who we are”.