Opinion: DA as a “Rainbow Party” is dying as Maimane and Trollip resigns…
Democratic Alliance are really having a shortfall of good leaders, as the good ones are now leaving the party. As Helen Zille became the Federal Council Chair of the Party. Since then, the first big resignation was the DA leader and Johannesburg Mayor Herman Mashaba. Today, the leader of the party, Mmusi Maimane resigned too. But his not alone, following him is Athol Trollip, the Federal Chairperson also resigned as the leader did.
Therefore, the idea of the rainbow party within the DA is dead. As the ones who aspired for this is steadily leaving. While the leadership is more and more centred around Zille. Whose White agenda comes clear as every day. That is in her writing over the years and also her comments in the press. To think otherwise is naive.
The DA as a white party and not the one envisioned by Maimane and others. That is evident by the recent acts, maybe or most likely the wisdom of Mandela was right all along. Someone who Maimane aspire to follow and make his own way to follow. Which he has shown respect to the legacy of Mandela every time he can in the past.
Because of that, I got to take a quote from Mandela in 2000 about the DA: “You must not be misled by a party that only cares for blacks on the eve of the elections.” “No white party can run this country … no matter how they cover up by getting a few black stooges, they (the whites) remain the bosses … they remain a white party” (Nelson Mandela – ‘Mandela lashes out at DA’, 12.02.2000, News24 archives).
With today’s action and the return of Zille. The four years of Maimane seems like blur and chapter that is ready to buried. Since, Zille is ready to take over the mantle again, as she was the leader from 2007 to 2015. Now, she’s back and surely by her active role wants her ways and her narratives again. Just as she has undermined and said that “black leadership” had to be reviewed of the party.
Zille wrote this in May “My biggest mistake in DA was to contribute in promoting Black leadership in DA and propelling both Mmusi Maimane and other Black provincial DA leaders to the echelons of power within DA. By doing so I lead DA to the trap of racial politics and promotion of skin colour over skill and talent” (Helen Zille – ‘I regret promoting Black leadership in DA – Helen Zille’ 27.05.2019). Meaning, she wanted it white again. There are no other way to see it. The DA as a mixed and rainbow party is going away. It is returning back to the form of the past.
Just as Maimane stated at the Press Conference today: “Make no mistake, along the journey there have been many difficulties. I fought battles with Helen Zille, especially regarding her comments – and the impact of her comments – as it pertained to colonialism. These sentiments did not help build trust between black and white South Africans, and they undermined the project the party was engaged in. Building trust and changing an organisation takes time. Yet despite these challenges along the way, we were making great progress. However, over the past months, it has become quite clear to me that there exists a grouping within the DA who do not see eye to eye with me, and do not share this vision for the party and the direction it was taking. There has been for several months a consistent and coordinated attempt to undermine my leadership and ensure that either this project failed, or I failed. This extended to the smear campaign that was run on the front pages of an Afrikaans weekly paper in an attempt to destroy my name and my integrity” (Maimane, 23.10.2019).
Therefore he did the right move and because of this, as Zille rose back to the Central Leadership a few days ago, as he continued with this: “And in the end we have come to the conclusion that despite my best efforts, the DA is not the vehicle best suited to take forward the vision of building One South Africa for All. It is with great sadness that in order to continue the fight for this vision I so strongly believe in, and the country I so dearly love, I today tender my resignation as leader of the Democratic Alliance” (Maimane, 23.10.2019).
Today, Maimane did the right thing. Just like Mashaba already did and Trollip followed suit at the same press conference. Today is the day, I believe in the rainbow vision of DA. That is gone, as Zille is rising back and taking control. The times of hopeful vision and of a uniting factor there is gone. She’s not that kind, self-obsessed and racist individual, who will not build anything good.
Maimane could have continued on his vision and built on the foundation he made, but the DA and Zille didn’t want to continue that. They wanted to embark back in time and return to the DA of Mandela’s vision. They want the White Party back and surely today they have gotten it. As the ones who stood for change and unity for all are all leaving the party. One by one they are leaving. Hopefully finding a new home where they can continue to build on that vision. So that it won’t get lost. Peace.