Guest Column

In Madikizela the DA has the perfect stooge

2017-02-27 11:06
New acting DA leader in the Western Cape Bonginkosi Madikizela (centre, seated). (Supplied)

New acting DA leader in the Western Cape Bonginkosi Madikizela (centre, seated). (Supplied)

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Yonela Diko

Bonginkosi Madikizela, has been voted in as the new interim provincial leader of the Democratic Alliance (DA) in the Western Cape.

But who is Bonginkosi Madikizela? A wondering man who has always seen politics as a zero-sum game who, when he does not get his way, doesn’t shy away from throwing his toys on the floor and abandoning the cause. 

In early 2006 Madikizela was expelled from the ANC when it became clear that he and others would contest local government elections as independent candidates after the faction he supported did not win in that election cycle. 

He then joined the UDM in 2007 and was also expelled there after an investigation found that he had secretly recruited party members to join the DA. A year later, in October 2008 he joined the DA and was subsequently appointed as Housing MEC by Helen Zille. 

How did someone with such a muddled and impious political background and questionable loyalties, with no political consciousness, rise to be a leader of the DA in the Western Cape?

One of the gravest mistakes that we have made as black people over the past century has been to equate black identity with black politics. Not all black people share the consciousness, particularly when their fortunes change. 

In fact, over the years, to preserve the only thing he has ever cared about, his own curry, Madikizela has become part of the black bourgeoisie that has actively sought and successfully engaged in practices which served to intentionally upend movements of the black working poor. 

When he was in the ANC, he believed that the 400 year “first mover” advantage of our fellow white South Africans, which kept all non-whites outside looking in, must be reversed in order to deal with the corrosive inequality which is predominantly along racial lines. 

Today, he can be heard occasionally blaming the black poor for the conditions they find themselves in, citing himself as an example of hard work and dedication as the reasons for his new found fortunes. This is exactly the kind of black thinking that white people like because it exonerates them from the past cruelties which still benefit them to this day. Education and economic growth and opportunity and dedication, all the niceties that will guarantee your future, the past has no bearing whatsoever.

Addressing the first convention of the Universal Black People’s Improvement Association in 1919, Rev. George Alexander McGuire declared, "the submissive black man has got to go, and his place must be taken by the new leader of the black race … not a black man with a white heart, but a black man with a black heart." 

With Madikizela at the provincial helm, with his submissive ‘Uncle Tom' smile, black people in the DA will never stand up and demand justice. He is too subservient to the white DA cabal, killing the rising generation of younger blacks like Mbali Ntuli who are aggressively asserting their rights. Madikizela is too subservient to the white cabal to bring change as the DA’s provincial leader.

Madikizela's election as interim leader follows the unceremonious and irrational resignation of Particia de Lille from the post, barely a year into her tenure. One would have expected Madikizela and other black leaders to have stood up and demanded better answers on this resignation and a return of De Lille first and foremost. But Madikizela, lucking at the edges as De Lille's deputy, with a history of seeking to rise by any means necessary, saw this as a golden opportunity and he sought no answers whatsoever. 

History confirms just how long black people have been in competition with one another, how we still embody this desire to compete and tear one another down. Madikizela, as De Lille's deputy should have been De Lille’s first line of support, against all forces, inside and outside the party. But of course, he has always been a man who is only loyal to the rise of his own career. De Lille's resignation clearly opened up the door for him to take over the reigns and he has wasted no time.

But Madikizela, along with Maimane and other black leaders in the DA are all helpless cowards and the general black membership can never count on their support. If you’re black, and you go back to work after finding out that your boss is grossed out at the idea of being in the same vicinity with any black person then you are the enemy of black people. 

When the DA's Vanessa Hartley – who likened Africans to “stupid animals”, or the DA's MP Dianne Kohler Barnard, who retweeted a post from journalist Paul Kirk‚ in which he praised former apartheid president PW Botha, the DA's Penny Sparrow, who referred to black beach-goers as “monkeys”, or DA Cape Town councillor of ward 54‚ Shayne Ramsay who said in people living on the streets were either “criminals‚ mentally retarded or social outcasts and those who are genuinely down on their luck”, not a single word came out of the black deputy leader of the DA, now newly elected acting leader Bonginkosi Madikizela.

Madikizela, with both a terrible record of being a serial floor-crosser and a person who will say anything, do anything, betray anyone just to keep his bread buttered and his rise secured, only those who are using him to guarantee their own unjustified enrichments are protected would entrust any position of power to this man. With this ugly record Madikizela does not even deserve to be a ward councillor or any position where he must serve the people because he is clearly self-serving and the ANC has always known this. 

Unlike his two other contenders to the post, former Western Cape police commissioner Lennit Max and Shaun August, independent thinkers who have had public confrontations with the white cabal, particularly Helen Zille, Madikizela has never shown any appetite to confront the white cabal, on any principle, on behalf of anyone, except when his own curry was threatened. 

One of the key tasks of a provincial leader of the party is to reign in the premier and ensure she toes the party line. 

Without a single incident which showed that Madikizela has the guts to stand up to Zille, having not said a single word in all Zille’s shenanigans, the calling black people from Eastern Cape refugees (Madikizela is from there) or trending for all the wrong reasons having jumped into the world of Twitter, dumping down and being silly (ala Trump), Zille has clearly chosen Madikizela so that she can remain DA's de facto leader in the province. (Not unlike choosing Maimane so she can maintain her reigns on the nationally through the stooge). 

The criteria Zille use for the black people she supports and pushes forward is so obvious and so insulting.

In Madikizela, Zille has found the perfect stooge.

- Yonela Diko is an ANC spokesperson in the Western Cape.

Disclaimer: News24 encourages freedom of speech and the expression of diverse views. The views of columnists published on News24 are therefore their own and do not necessarily represent the views of News24.

Read more on:    bonginkosi madikizela  |  helen zille  |  da
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