Always the first to write press releases condemning the ANC’s behaviour and using the courts to expose procedural bungles and transgressions of the Constitution, the DA has set itself up as the saviour of good governance, and going by the words of leader Mmusi Maimane yesterday, as the beacon for reconciliation.
That’s fine. They can take whatever brand direction they wish to take. But, just like corporate brands who are held accountable to their brand promises, the DA is fast learning that it is very easy to criticise, but when you live in a glass house sometimes the stones cause damage.
Let’s start with the vote of no-confidence that will be heard for the upteenth time against President Jacob Zuma. They were in court, through their advocate Budlender, supporting the UDM’s application for it to be held in secret. Fine. But then can someone from the DA please publicly explain why they did everything in their power to prevent the same from happening in Mogale City? Surely if you want ANC MPs to “vote with their conscience” you would realise that attempting to block your own councilors from doing the same in Mogale City is a bit like a doped up athlete telling kids not to take steroids.
But it doesn’t end there. Reports, and we reiterate that it is based on reports, indicate that the DA subjected their councilors to a lie detector test after the vote! It is just astounding.
According to News 24, “all 27 DA councillors were taking the test voluntarily to determine who had voted with the ANC to depose Holenstein, DA Gauteng leader John Moodey said”. Whether it was voluntary or forced, it does smell a bit like schoolyard bullying (and dictatorial) to oust the “traitor”, who may honestly have voted with the ANC out of his or her conscience.
Then, we need look no further than Helen Zille. She struck a deal with the party so as to avoid a protracted legal battle. Maimane told her off on live television and then told the country she would remain as Premier despite stepping down from party structures. Let us, for argument’s sake, give the DA the benefit of the doubt here in that “at least they did something”. It is a stretch, but let’s just do that to make the next point.
When the ANC in the Western Cape’s motion of no-confidence in Zille is eventually heard, what are the odds that it will be bulldozed by the DA? Now, if the analogy is not clear enough, let us spell it out.
The DA uses “public mood” and the “national climate” and “popular discontent” in Jacob Zuma as barometers that he is not popular and that “most people” want him out. Will they use the same barometer with Zille?
EWN, a wonderfully privileged enclave, where liberals of all persuasions tend to hang out and bash the ANC, itself did a poll on whether the DA was right in how it handled Zille. Go look at the results of that poll – the country, the majority of the country, want to see the door hit Zille on her backside on the way out of the Premier’s office.
So, if the DA is to be consistent, it will take into account the mood of the country and vote with its conscience. But, we have more chance of seeing Julius Malema occupy an Absa branch than the DA doing to Zille what it expects the ANC to do to Zuma.
What are they smoking? A wise person once said: “Do as I do, not as I say.”