Haffajee drops bomb on Van Onselen’s ‘partnership’ with DA policy head

Haffajee drops bomb on Van Onselen’s ‘partnership’ with DA policy head

Ferial Haffajee and Gareth van Onselen. Image: Twitter

This comes after he took exception to a report she published.

A twar between Daily Maverick’s Ferial Haffajee and former Democratic Alliance (DA) in Institute of Race Relations (IRR) affiliate Gareth van Onselen has left spectators with more questions than answers after Haffajee dropped a bomb.

The twar began earlier this week when Van Onselen took exception to a report by Haffajee published in the Daily Maverick titled ‘DA support in freefall, two new surveys show’.

The report cites two surveys, one by Ipsos and the other by Citizen Surveys, and states that they show that support for the DA is in freefall as they lose both white and black supporters.

The report also gave interim DA leader John Steenshuisen a chance to account for this to which he responded: “Internal polling shows our support at the same level. This notion that our support is tanking is not true.”

An irate Van Onselen fired off a Twitter thread ripping the report to shreds.

He labelled the article “poor reporting” and accused Haffajee of pretending as though the contents of the report were more recent than they were.

Van Onselen later continued, this time roping Sunday Times into the mix.

He then published another 14-tweet-long Twitter thread that he titled ‘Thread on the Daily Maverick’s censoring of the DA’s reply to its sensational report on the latest available polling’.

Amid all of Van Onselen’s tweets, Haffajee simply responded: “Thank you for the chat and the link to poll coverage, @GvanOnselen. I know you don’t agree, but it’s important to note: 1. You run your own polling company, 2. Your partner is head of policy of the DA, 3. You have a history of factional engagement on matters in that party.”

While many tried to goad the pair into publicly debating each other, others commented on Haffajee’s labelling of the DA policy head as Van Onselen’s partner.

Gwen Ngwenya, who previously worked at the IRR with Van Onselen returned to the DA as policy head in November.

Neither Haffajee nor Van Onselen responded to queries from Twitter about the nature of his partnership with the DA policy head.

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