A vital legacy: space for dissent

2008-08-23 00:00

Tony Leon, former leader of the Democratic Alliance (DA), has the unenviable distinction of being one of South Africa’s least popular politicians. During his 13 years as leader, Leon became a byword for abrasiveness combined with, according to his critics in the governing African National Congress (ANC) and the media, undertones of arrogance and racial superiority.

The ideological indigestion that followed continues to cause the DA heartburn. One consequence of it, still today, is a general revulsion among black voters towards the DA, which shows the limitations of Leon’s leadership.

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