I'm not happy with the state of the DA - Gana

2015-11-06 08:31
Makashule Gana (Genevieve Quintal, News24)

Makashule Gana (Genevieve Quintal, News24)

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Johannesburg - The day Democratic Alliance MP Makashule Gana wakes up and finds he is happy with the state of the party is the day he will leave.

Speaking to News24, Gana said he wanted to feel like he was making a difference.

"I will not say I am happy with the state of the DA, no I am not. But that's why I am here because there are things to be changed.

"Every day I wake up and say 'what can I change about the DA?' As long as I continue to wake up and feel those things then I still have a reason to be in the DA," he said.

Gana, 32, started his political career in the SA Students Congress (Sasco) at the University of Limpopo, Turfloop but that changed in 2002 when he started looking around for a political home.

The DA MP said he felt he needed to find himself.

- Read more: Gana defends decision to axe Kohler Barnard

He looked at a few parties - the Inkatha Freedom Party, which he said was "too Zulu for me", the United Democratic Movement which was dying and the Pan Africanist Party which was already dead.

"The DA had this perception that it was a white party and I said to myself 'that is a challenge'.

"That's the field that I need to go to. It was an attraction like seeing a woman you’re attracted to, you ask her out and then she says yes, you go on a date and you develop affection."

At first he did not fully understand the party but the more questions he had the deeper he dug.

"As I was digging I was getting immersed in the DA. I started to like this thing because of its challenges. That is why I am still here," said Gana.

‘We learn most from our failures’

Since joining the party Gana has been a DA youth leader, a city councillor in Johannesburg, an MP and deputy federal chairperson.

Earlier this year, he stood against Eastern Cape leader Athol Trollip for the position of federal chairperson.

He lost to the party veteran at the elective congress where Mmusi Maimane was elected new DA leader.

Gana said he learnt from that.

"We learn the most from our failures... There are things I need to work on as a politician [and] as a leader. One day I will contest another position. I don't know which position..."

Asked if he had ever thought about standing for DA leader, Gana said sometimes but he did not see it as part of his immediate future.

"As I approach 40 and maybe just after 40 I will start thinking about it. I'm in the DA for the long haul. [But] I don't think I can go for it in the next six or seven years."

Gradual changes

At this stage, Gana says he is happy with the leadership provided by Maimane who took over from Helen Zille.

The DA had been going through a gradual change and was focusing of connecting with people on the ground.

"You don't just change a 32% party overnight, it's a process. What is important is that the intentions are there. The intentions are there from Mmusi and other members.

"Is it ideal? No. It's still far from ideal."

Read more on:    da  |  makashule gana

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