‘No discord in DA over race’

2016-01-27 06:00

THE DA leader Mmusi Maimane on Sunday (24/01) brushed off comments about internal racial politics in the party.

He responded to comments made by its former parliamentary leader, Lindiwe Mazibuko.

“She is speaking in her own capacity,” said Maimane.

He said while there were different views about the direction the party needed to take, he was “leading the DA and I’m taking the party in a particular direction”.

Last week, Mazibuko wrote in an opinion piece for BDLive commenting that while Maimane’s “intervention” was an “outstanding initiative”, it needed to be “carried throughout the entire organisation.”

“The DA should also reflect on hurtful and inaccurate internal party narratives that presume ‘white competence’, while labelling black leaders products of the generosity of their white counterparts,” Mazibuko wrote.

Mazibuko’s remarks followed a rocky few months for the party, much of it due to various racism scandals.

In the wake of these incidents, Maimane launched a Stand Up, Speak Out campaign that would allow South Africans to talk about race.

An anti-racism pledge – to be signed by all party officials – was also initiated.

In a speech delivered at the Apartheid Museum last Tuesday, 19 January, Maimane emphasised that “racists are not welcome in the DA”.

Mazibuko criticised suggestions by certain DA advisors that “South African’s ‘obsession’ with the politics of race distracts us from ‘real issues’ such as poverty and economic peril.”

She left her position in the party two years ago and is currently a resident fellow of the Harvard Institute of Politics in America.

“Any right-thinking progressive would not struggle to understand that the two are inextricably linked,” she wrote.

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