Black DA leaders will never escape the label of tokenist leaders

The character of the DA is easy to define. It is a direct descendant of the National Party and is a white minority party. Here, Solly Malatsi, Mmusi Maimane and Athol Trollip are pictured during a press conference at the Democratic Alliance's head office where Maimane and Trollip announced their resignations. Photo: Tebogo Letsie/City Press
The character of the DA is easy to define. It is a direct descendant of the National Party and is a white minority party. Here, Solly Malatsi, Mmusi Maimane and Athol Trollip are pictured during a press conference at the Democratic Alliance's head office where Maimane and Trollip announced their resignations. Photo: Tebogo Letsie/City Press

Archbishop Desmond Tutu must have had Mmusi Maimane and the rest of the black DA leadership in mind when he said: “I am not interested in picking up crumbs of compassion thrown from the table of someone who considers himself my master. I want the full menu of rights. If you are neutral in situations of injustice, you have chosen the side of the oppressor. If an elephant has its foot on the tail of a mouse and you say that you are neutral, the mouse will not appreciate your neutrality.”

The character of the DA is easy to define.

It is a direct descendant of the National Party and is a white minority party.

It is not an accident that every single black DA leader is handpicked and can be dispensed of with ease.

Helen Zille, the software developer of black DA leaders seem to wield extraordinary powers.

Even with her pretentious struggle credentials, she can no longer pretend that the DA must be led by a white person.

Her claimed struggle credentials are only relevant to explain why another gullible black leader must fall for her tricks.

In truth, she resents black people and black leadership even if they are prepared to be puppets.

Mmusi Maimane and black members of the DA must have reached a stage where they have lost interest in picking up crumbs of compassion from the masters in the DA.

The reality is that the current situation was engineered deliberately to remove the black puppet leaders who have failed to deliver their people to minority domination.

Maimane and other black DA leaders can never escape the label of tokenist leaders.

Zille is on public record as saying that she regrets parachuting them into leadership positions.

The regret though is less about parachuting them and more about the fact that they were unable to lure as many black people as possible to enable the DA to make any meaningful impact during the elections.

It is inescapable that a white minority would never have ever accepted to be led by a black person.

On the face of it, Johannesburg mayor Herman Mashaba made a bold, principled anti-racism statement when he resigned as DA councilor and mayor.

At least to the gullible and those who have always wondered what the true motives of the DA were in giving black people leadership positions when in fact the power in party remained in the hands of a white minority, Mashaba is a true patriot who puts his country first.

Unfortunately, even if Mashaba, wanted to deny it, he is no less of a puppet than any other known puppet in modern history.

He represents what normally happens in petty politics where those who occupy political office can play victim when it suits them and/or play gallery hero politics.

Zille is not the best example of what a good leader should be.

She presents a case study in power mongering like many other political party leader who believes that leadership is when that leaders is in power.

She also has now demonstrated beyond any reasonable doubt that she has no regard for black people and black leaders in particular.

Her political life in her own words is riddled with regrets of ever championing black leadership within her party.

One wonders whether Zille would ever serve under a black president.

Mashaba opportunistically sought to use the failings of Zille to make a hollow political statement.

The fact that he pretends that he is not a career politician does not detract from the reality that like many other politicians, he can easily flip and flop depending on the weather.

Herman Mashaba resigns as mayor of Joburg. Picture: Papi Morake/Gallo Images

The narrative and myth that Africans have a problem of relinquishing power is now discredited, courtesy of Zille.

She has been ruling from the grave but could no longer take it and had to rise from the dead in her own second coming.

Why would someone who supposedly voluntarily handed over power as party leader come back to occupy an even more powerful position?

On the face of it Maimane, her own design and creation failed, hence her publicly stated regret of supporting black leadership for the DA.

Helen Zille congratulates Mmusi Maimane as he gets elected as new DA leader. Picture: Luvuyo Mehlwana

Well, Zille created Lindiwe Mazibuko, another of her failed projects.

She created Patricia de Lille within the DA and that failed.

She went on a kissing spree with Dr Mamphela Ramphele and that also failed.

She pulled out all the stops to make the DA black like me and failed.

Mashaba is supposedly one of her biggest recruits and their little petty relationship is now ending in tears.

Now both are questioning each other’s logic. This is despite public records which show how lovey dovey they were in the very recent past.

In true politician hypocrisy Mashaba, who at all times knew that his occupancy of the mayoral seat was courtesy of his membership and endorsement of his political party, which he joined with his eyes wide open, has suddenly woken up from Slumberland.

He suddenly knows that there are those within the DA who see race as irrelevant and may not even be bothered about the plight of the poor.

He now suddenly knows that Zille represents an otherwise adulterated racist block within the DA.

For that he must be hailed as the son of the soil who stands up to white supremacy.

DA Federal Chairperson Helen Zille at the party’s head offices where Mmusi Maimane and Athol Trollip resigned. Picture: Tebogo Letsie

Zille, on the other hand, has exposed us to the nature and complexity of political lies.

She has suddenly developed a serious interest in an event in Orania, the white enclave of the Northern Cape.

As a way of embarrassing herself and her recruit, she wants to make a mountain out of the mole hill of the Free Market Foundation supposedly holding an event in Orania.

What she misses is that Orania is but a residential version of her political party whose own members, including Mashaba, are running away from due to racism.

Orania is running away from the rest of society because it has regrets of living with black people.

This is exactly the same regret Zille has about bringing black leadership within the DA.

Mashaba seems to have seen something in the DA that other people did not see. But he is also the type that puts a finger in the fire to prove that fire burns.

One is disheartened that, instead of making a bold principled statement, Mashaba has just exposed either how ignorant he is or how dangerous little confused power can be.

From the onset, Mashaba set his eyes on the mayoral chain. That is what brought him into the DA.

It was not a desire to serve in the patriotic terms he claims.

If that was the case, he did not need the DA because he could have simply stood as a ward councillor.

He is a man of means and did not need the DA resources, machinery and policies to serve in council.

It is even more disturbing that he claims the DA caucus did not support him and that he relied heavily on the coalition partner to pull through.

Again Mashaba must rather be seen as representing some serious dangers in the petty politics of our time.

How does he secure the mayoral chain on a DA ticket, which has always been anti-poor, and expect to be supported with what he thinks are his pro-poor policies?

Is Mashaba real or is he just a confused pseudo politician who has made enough money and saw the poor as an extra mural activity?

Did Mashaba need a mayoral chain to bring about change on his projected terms?

The MK cadres Zille claims to have housed when Mashaba was making the Black Like Me money must be turning in their graves.

Steve Biko must be the most shocked to realise that Zille uses his name to justify what her own party members call racism.

Based on what Zille and Mashaba tell us, it is clear that Biko was very right. The weapon he referred to being the mind of the oppressed has worked well thus far.

Zille and the DA made the likes of Mashaba sufficiently delusional to believe that they were equals.

The reminders which Zille is dishing out to Mashaba renders him wholly exposed as one history’s dumbest political puppets.

Has Mashaba said anything significant or different? Is his resignation rant that different to what we already heard from all other disgruntled members leaving their parties?

Records suggest that everything Mashaba said is the normal, scripted political resignation letter.

Everyone who left their political parties suddenly woke up to talk ill about their parties.

The very same people who went around encouraging people to vote for evil and the people believed them, today use the convenience of television and radio to tell us how evil the parties they asked us to vote for are.

I must be forgiven for calling Mashaba a permanently oppressed soul with a mind perpetually controlled by his oppressors.

I must also be forgiven for calling Zille a very dangerous political pretender no different from many other political leaders who not only want to rule from the grave but who are so obsessed with power that they will stop at nothing even if it exposes who they truly are.

Maimane put it quite well when he compared himself with a domestic worker.

Domestic workers do not have rights but only obligations and continue to be treated with disrespect.

Not that they will not rebel one day. Their rebellion of course has little impact on hardened slave masters.

Mashaba made the terrible mistake of thinking that racism equates to having to call someone a baas.

From what Mashaba says, he was already isolated by his own party caucus. It seems that more than anything, Mashaba was jumping ship before he was pushed.

The election of Zille meant his little power is eroded and he hardly had trust and confidence in his own black brother who was leader of his party to protect him.

For Mashaba to lay claim to patriotism as the true reason for his early jump from the mayoral seat is rather disingenuous.

Modidima Mannya is an advocate, writer and executive director for legal services at the University of SA

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