The Running Commentary

On Mmusi Maimane and the Democratic Alliance

This morning I woke up thinking about how Mmusi Maimane must be feeling, having led a party through a period of time, taking them to uncomfortable places, only to realise it was for naught. 

As he steps out of the role of leader and, of just a few minutes ago, of representing the Democratic Alliance at all.  It must be a dreadful realization, but hopefully one that he will use to fuel future endeavor, that the party he worked so hard for, actually at its core did not want him or his style. They set about smearing his name, a dreadful thing to endure and completely pathetic in its execution. 

Failure to transform

It appears, from the outside at least, that they didn’t want to really become a governing party.  If they did, they would have transformed their own leadership.  They have, after all and as they remind the ANC regularly, had 25 years in which to do this.  They have failed dismally in this effort. The FEDEX of the Democratic alliance should be ashamed of themselves, for the way in which events have unfolded. 

How Helen Zille was able to step into the race, just one month short of the election, and win the thing is mind blowing.  She clearly has a far deeper rule than anyone thought.  As a previous supporter of the Democratic Alliance, I am absolutely aghast at this kind of interference.  It has left a poor taste in many the mouths of the current Democratic Alliance base.  They will hopefully pay for this arrogance at the voting booths.  I, for one, will speak out strongly against them at every turn. They do not deserve the trust, that the many South Africans who voted for them, placed in them.

Why I used to support them

I supported them because they spoke about unifying the country, about breaking down the colour barriers.  They demonstrated this, at one level, by appointing Mmusi as the leader of the party.  We know that, for any party to be relevant in South Africa, they will need to have a leadership that fairly represents the demographics of the country.  If you don’t have a representative leadership your party cannot be in a position of governance, it will always be relegated opposition party status.

The party and leadership, deservedly now, is in turmoil.  They will emerge from it, this we know, it will be a really hard journey, but they will emerge. They will not though emerge as relevant party anymore. Certainly not while they have a colonial apologist in the position of FEDEX chair. Of course, this may be the very strategy. They realised that they don’t actually want to govern, but rather be content to simply throw stones at those who are in governance.

To Mmusi

My final word is to Mmusi, who I have not had the privilege of meeting yet. I think that you are a unifier, I think that you represented a trajectory that the Democratic Alliance needed to go on. I think that you had your issues, as every leader has, but your persona and ability to engage with the electorate was infectious.  You are a charismatic leader, one that the party needed. You are a major loss to them, despite what their internal report says.  Thank you for the way in which you served.

Democratic AllianceMike TabernerMmusi Maimaneopposition politicspoliticsSouth AfricatrustVoting

Mike • October 24, 2019

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