The DA has suffered its first fallout following its election of a majority white leadership, with yet another black leader turning their back on the opposition party.
Lincoln Machaba, former DA Youth Johannesburg chairperson and Dobsonville Ward 48 PR councillor, on Tuesday announced his resignation from the party indicating that he was joining Herman Mashaba’s ActionSA.
In a voice note, the 29-year-old youth leader said he had decided to leave the DA “particularly because of the results of the DA federal council which was held over the weekend”.
“It has now become clear to me that the DA has abandoned the principles of diversity and the project of being a serious contender to the ANC,” he said.
“In fact, I think the DA has moved from reasonable centre politics to becoming a Freedom Front Minus. In that regard, I have decided to join ActionSA because I believe that the spirit of a rainbow nation, the spirit of a better economy, of better education for our children now rests with ActionSA.
“I am excited and I am ready to build it from the ground up.”
Machaba said in a statement on Tuesday that as DA Youth regional chairperson he had been “inundated by young members of the DA who had been distraught by the direction of the party and its racial denialism”.
“They feel forgotten by the DA. [They feel] left behind and shut out of the organisation by its rebranding as the Freedom Front Minus.
“I have complete conviction that ActionSA is destined to become the political movement that the young people have been waiting for, an organisation that will reflect the diversity of our country.”
I am now home??????— Lincoln Machaba (@LincolnMachaba) November 3, 2020
I have always been deeply moved by ActionSA’s commitment to being a true home for the youth.
The youth in our country know that politicians have failed them in every way.
Thank God that @HermanMashaba is not a politician.
We will fix this.#TimeForAction
Machaba, who held the position of DA Youth Johannesburg chairperson since 2017, explained that he had joined ActionSA as a member and volunteer.
Speaking to City Press, ActionSA founder and president Mashaba said he was humbled and excited “to personally be working with young people like [Machaba] to perfect our country from the ANC and the DA”.
“The youth have a very important role to play in our country and to get someone like that, who is ready and willing to sacrifice a paid position as a councillor to come and volunteer without getting a salary from us because he believes in the work we do, I am excited and honoured and humbled.”
His exit follows that of former DA Gauteng leader John Moodey, who joined ActionSA earlier last month after quitting a party he had served since its formation in 2000.
Moodey said he no longer felt at home within the DA and accused the party of acting as the new apartheid regime.
Over the past year, other senior DA members including Funzela Ngobeni (the DA’s mayoral candidate in Johannesburg after Mashaba’s resignation), Abel Tau (former DA regional chair in Tshwane) and Paul Boughey (former DA chief executive) have also joined Mashaba.
Last month the Johannesburg region lost another member to ActionSA.
Christopher Mohlala, former DA Youth Johannesburg deputy chairperson, also resigned from the party citing lack of inclusivity within the party.
Mohlala told City Press that the DA was no longer a party he could align himself with.
“The DA is no longer the party that we used to know. It has changed to be a party for the elite, a party that doesn’t give black members a chance to represent themselves. What we have seen as young black people in the party is that it is no longer representing us. It is representing a few,” he said.
He said he had found a new political home.
“I was inducted into ActionSA a week ago. I am a member of ActionSA. We have been denied a lot of chances over the years. The DA has given predominantly white people opportunities. The DA no longer represents diversity.
“I have seen that us black people will never really lead the DA in this day and age. It was a mistake when [former DA leader Mmusi Maimane] left the DA,” he said.