Media reports suggest that some DA politicians are engaged in a divide and rule strategy among the leading black DA members. This narrative implies that the fight for the soul of the DA is on. Tony Leon described by some as a “Taliban liberal” has muddied the proverbial waters by questioning the DA’s support of liberal values. Confusion around BEE and affirmative action has also wounded the DA.
On the flip side, top ANC members including Hanif Loonat have written to Luthuli House questioning the activities of their newly elected provincial leadership. Allegations of racism hang thick in the air.
Since I have personal experience with both parties I can relate to the internal conflicts that ensue around election time. Historically I was harassed out of the DA by a whispering campaign initiated by a handful of people who were determined to undermine any latent non-white thinkers. Since people in political authority are often aware of their limited abilities and skill; they are easily threatened by any person remotely capable of independent thought.
Although I originally interpreted this behaviour as racist, my current role as the political leader of the Cape Muslim Congress has given me an altered perspective. In my opinion, the DA has been built on and has prospered with white people’s money. The financial input from Blacks and Coloureds are marginal. Why then, should those who supply the money to sustain the success of the DA, not influence the decision making process?
In my estimation, those who financially contribute towards the ANC also have an agenda. Only an insane person will donate money towards a political party without having some expectation.
My research suggests that many Black and Coloured DA politicians are largely unemployable as they lack tangible qualifications and practical skills. With white money the DA developed, train and sustain these politicians at great cost. I therefore suggest greater humility from those who seek political power without making any meaningful financial or skills contribution. Democracy is not free or cheap and anyone who assumes that democracy can exist without sacrifice lacks knowledge and political insight.
With regards to Helen Zille, since leadership is complex; the leader can never really close the gap between her and those she leads. If she does, she is no longer what she must be. She must always walk a tightrope between the consent she must win and the control she must exercise.
If Blacks and Coloureds want to have a majority say in the future of the DA, they need to add real values as well as money since votes are only one facet of the process. Likewise Muslims and Coloureds who vote ANC must not be annoyed when the ANC applies national demographics which favour other Blacks for work allocation in the Western Cape.
According to Winston Churchill “some people change their party for the sake of their principles; others change their principles for the sake of their party”. If you are unhappy, then leave and build your own party, like I did.
During an election campaign the air is always full of speeches and the speeches are often full of air. In the end, words are cheap and voters will have to think seriously before they vote in the 2014.
Cllr Yagyah Adams
Cape Muslim Congress