As the DA struggles with issues on many fronts, its public representatives are continuing to lose confidence in it, with its latest blow coming from Gauteng leader John Moodey, who announced on Wednesday that he had decided to leave the party.
In a press briefing held at his home in Roodepoort, Moodey revealed that he would no longer be part of the official opposition party.
Moodey’s decision comes just weeks after DA Tshwane chairperson Abel Tau resigned to join the newly launched political party Action SA set up by former DA member and former Johannesburg mayor Herman Mashaba.
Moodey was going to contest to be the leader of the party during its elective conference next month.
On Wednesday, Moodey stated that things started going downhill for the DA towards 2017.
He explained that the party only cared about the votes they lost to the Freedom Front Plus in last year’s elections, and has no concerns about Indian, coloured and black voters.
He then went on to speak about DA federal chair Helen Zille’s tweets about racism, saying that she caused irreparable harm to the DA and had disturbed racial harmony.
He added that the current leadership continued to follow Zille blindly.
Moodey says he has also been victim of underhanded tactics and was formerly charged for supporting former party leader Mmusi Maimane.
He says that he was not willing to stay in the DA just for a salary because the party was no longer his political home.
He said he had already received offers from NGOs and the private sector, but made it clear that he was not joining Mashaba’s Action SA.
Moodey was due to compete against KwaZulu-Natal MPL Mbali Ntuli and interim leader John Steenhuisen for the leadership of the party.
A DA insider told City Press that Moodey had been unhappy for a long time and it was no surprise that he was leaving the party.
Moodey was one of the party’s members who opposed the idea of a virtual conference, saying that doing everything online would exclude those who did not have the resources to participate.
Moodey’s bone of contention was that many people would not be able to vote because of a lack of access to data and their unfamiliarity with the new system.
However, his concerns fell on deaf ears, and the federal council rubber-stamped the virtual conference.
Moodey has previously told City Press that, because the party had earmarked Steenhuisen to be its leader, concerns regarding delegates in the competitors’ camp were not taken seriously.
“We are on our own, now we have to ensure that every delegate is afforded the opportunity to fully participate in the congress in a safe and secure environment,” he said at the time.
Moodey has been the party’s the provincial leader since 2012 and was a member of the Gauteng legislature.
The DA has continued to lose many black members in key positions since the election of Zille, who assumed her position last year.
First to leave was Mashaba last year, followed by Maimane, former DA Johannesburg caucus leader Funzela Ngobeni and then Tau.
They also lost their CEO Paul Boughey and head of campaigns Jonathan Moakes.
According to sources in the party, many of the members who called for an investigation into Zille regarding her tweets were “scolded like little children” for speaking out against her during a federal executive sitting this week.
In the tweets the former party leader said that the last apartheid president, FW de Klerk “decided to dismantle apartheid. If he hadn’t, the ANC would still be bogged down in the mess of its so-called Liberation camps and infighting. They had no viable armed struggle to speak of.”
What burning issue? De Klerk decided to dismantle apartheid. If he hadn't, the ANC would still be bogged down in the mess of its so-called Liberation camps and in-fighting. They had no viable armed struggle to speak of.— Helen Zille (@helenzille) June 21, 2020
Zille also said that today’s laws were worse than those that were implemented during apartheid. Moodey believed the tweets were wrong and misguided.
“As a South African and DA Gauteng leader, I wish to express my disappointment and disapproval of the recent tweets sent out by Helen Zille. She does not speak on my behalf. I previously defended De Klerk when there was a call to have him stripped of his Nobel prize, because I recognised his contribution to bringing about a peaceful transition to democracy in South Africa,” he said.
The party has not yet announced the outcome of the Zille investigation.