A photo of a "black sheep". This photo was circulated widely on whatsapp and also on twitter, mocking DA leader Mmusi Maimane. Maimane has a long way to go before ridding himself of the image of being a black face for a white party.

Editorial Comment Lead

DA: the Democratic Annoyance

The Democratic Alliance should consider changing its name to the Democratic Annoyance.


The DA has now famously indicated that it wants Parliament dissolved so that early general elections can be called. Clearly the party believes this would place it in a strong position to unseat the ANC from government. Either that, or it knows (and rightly so) that the motion will fail, and it is just doing it all for a gimmick, for “publicity”.


Before we unpack this strategy of the DA, let’s look back at the events of the past week. The DA had been vocal about MPs “voting with their conscience”. What this meant, to the DA, was them supporting the opposition parties in voting yes on the motion of no-confidence in Jacob Zuma, brought by the DA.


During the debate, the DA was at pains to point out that it was not in fact trying to dislodge the ANC or trying to force regime change, as accused by the ANC. Barely 48 hours after losing, for the eighth time, the DA called a press conference to announce it wanted to use another part of the constitution to try get Parliament dissolved. If the DA cannot see that it has just scored an own goal and proved the ANC right – that it is obsessed with removing the ANC as a party  – then there is no hope for the party.


The section of the constitution exists, sure. But it is also obvious that more than 60% of South Africans voted for the ANC to run government until 2019. This is nothing less than an attempt to undo, cancel, and make a mockery of what the electorate chose.


The DA will argue that “SA is in a crisis” and that this motion is about trying everything at its disposal to remove Zuma. That doesn’t float. The party knows very well that it stands no chance with its latest gimmick, especially that other opposition parties have said they do not support such a move. This latest stunt smacks of two things: desperation to take power and that their only strategy is to be a Democratic Annoyance.


Mmusi Maimane – who has been the butt of many jokes, not least being seen as the black sheep of his white party as seen in the featured photo of this editorial that was shared on twitter at his expense – is out of his depth.


Some time ago Willie Madisha had the following to say about ANC MP Naledi Pandor:


It is now more appropriate to Maimane. He waxes lyrical, and speaks emotionally, and uses terms and words that sound fancy, and all we hear is “Hong hong hong hong hong!”


Even Julius Malema has outfoxed the DA. The EFF is pursuing their equally doomed impeachment court process, however in this process Zuma remains the target (and we all know that this is why the EFF exists). However, despite all his Hong Hong Hong, Maimane has just contradicted his party’s line in the no-confidence debate by trying the latest stunt.


The only way they will ever take control of SA is through winning at the ballot box. The DA would be better served trying to build its constituency so that it grows from a 25% party to a party that can govern. It is up to the DA to try and rid itself of the image that it is run in the interest of white people. No amount of Parliament theatrics will do this for the party.


At the end of the day, the ANC closed ranks and voted to keep Zuma as president. While the majority of people in this country want their lives to be improved, the Democratic Annoyance is setting itself up for another Hong Hong Hong that will result in yet another failure. It defies belief.

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