All along some of us have known that the Democratic Alliance (DA) is the best purveyor of cosmetic and pseudo changes in the country, but we were never quite certain of the extent to which the party is prepared to go to fool South Africans. But no more. The gross details of the choreographed non-racialism façade and obfuscations pursued within the party in a desperate bid for relevance to the masses have been laid bare in Helen Zille’s article titled “My biggest mistake” which appeared on News24 on 27 May 2019.
In the process of agonising over her role in the promotion of black leadership, and how this has backfired on her and compromised one of their “primary reasons for existence-to promote genuine and inclusive non-racialism”, Zille does not only unwittingly admit that the DA was involved in the scheme of political fronting to lure black voters, but also compares the party’s pseudo commitment to the ideal of non-racialism to the African National Congress (ANC), and concludes that the ANC is less committed.
It is well and good for them and their sympathisers to believe in their own lies, but it becomes a problem when they feed such deodorised cow dung to the public. Such cannot be left unattended while the country is in a desperate need for genuine socio-economic transformation rather than the DA’s snake oil.
The truth is, by design and posture the policies of the ANC, which the DA is the antithesis of, recognise and appreciate that the exclusion of black people from the economy of the country was a zero-sum game for centuries and decades of colonial-apartheid. Therefore, their accelerated inclusion to economic activities would not be possible without tapping on elements of this formula (zero-sum game) given the limited resources vis-à-vis the enormity of poverty, unemployment and inequalities in the country, which continue to bear a black face.
During colonial apartheid, this formula ensured aggressive socio-economic upliftment of the white people through Draconian legislation. Why then is it so painful to its beneficiaries when the ANC applies the very same formula within the pro-poor and humanistic legislative frameworks?
We cannot run away and be academic about the fact that the majority of South Africans who are languishing in poverty and its concomitant social ills are black. Cognizant of this plight, the ANC, as a leader of the society and a governing party, has no time for pussyfooting and theorising, but will robustly pursue its revolutionary task of carrying and realising the hopes and dreams of the poor people for a better life.
It is therefore disingenuous for beneficiaries of colonial-apartheid and a mere deflection for the DA, and anyone for that matter, to accuse the ANC of a lack of commitment to non-racialism when its administration infuses the aspirations of the poor people to the policy designs and implementation thereof. This stance is very hypocritical and protectionist in nature, in order to sustain the status quo of “white privilege” and ‘black poverty”.
Unfortunately, this fundamental challenge of our society is a taboo in the DA and anyone who dares to raise it, including their leader Mmusi Mamaine, is met with hostility and accused of promoting racism by a white cabal of liberals and illiberals. This rage once befell poor Maimane for merely raising a view that “white privilege” and “black poverty” is not a figment of the imagination, but a reality.
In fact, even before Zille’s twisted rant in her article, there was a litany of evidence which proved that the members of the party are grappling to reconcile their ideological differences in pursuit of a non-racial society. The extent of these differences which are now in the public domain for everybody to see has not only pitted members along racial lines over the form and content of a “diversity clause” to be adopted and included in the DA constitution, but also led to the resignation of the party’s head of policy, Gwen Ngwenya, in January 2019.
The contestation over the inclusion of diversity in the party’s constitution was taken to the Federal Congress held in April 2018, and this saw the rejection of the so-called black caucus and Maimane’s proposal which was accused of bringing in racial quotas in the party. Maimane and his cohorts must have rudely woken up to the uncomfortable truth that there is no way in this country that the colonial-apartheid legacy could be addressed without deliberate and targeted interventions to ensure preferential treatment for the previously-disadvantaged groups (zero-sum game), which are mainly black.
But their defeat at Federal Congress in favour of a vague “diversity clause” which is pro-beneficiaries of colonial-apartheid, symbolised the defeat of the hope and aspirations of the poor and the majority of South Africans within the DA. To this end, all black DA members, supporters and sympathisers need to accept that their party of choice only views them as decoys and voting cannon fodder and it would never trade off anything at the expense of “white privilege” for the broader majority.
Can now anyone in his or her sober senses really call this a non-racial party, instead of a fake non-racial party?
I choose the latter without any fear of contradiction. DM
David Vakalisa Ka-Ndyalvan is an ANC member at Akaso Branch. He writes in his personal capacity.