Where are the whites at DA led marches?

When the Democratic Alliance (DA) marched to the Guptas’ residence in Saxonwold on 5 October, eNCA's award-winning journalist Karyn Maughan asked "baphi abelungu?”, translated as “Where are the whites?”

In a response to Maughan's question, DA Gauteng member of provincial legislature Makashule Gana, wrote: This is a common question that follows most of our marches, but it had never hit me as much as it did this time around, and it had nothing to do with the fact that it was raining or that Maughan had asked it on Twitter. It finally dawned on me that I have been avoiding responding to it, both as a South African and a leader in the DA, for it carries a deeper message.

There is a perception that we have to shed: a perception that we are a white party or a party controlled by whites. This perception does not affect the other political parties. The DA has done well to include protests and marches as part of our political culture

Gana says the question has been raised for a number of years but felt after the march to the Gupta home he felt he could no longer avoid not answering it and hadn't been engaging it in an honest manner.

Makashule Gana and Karyn Maughan discuss the issue with Eusebius McKaiser.

I tried to go in with a conversation because I do not believe there is one single answer to that question.

Makashule Gana, DA Gauteng member of provincial legislature

Gana admits that it is true that white people are missing from DA marches. He adds that he would like to see more white people at DA led marches.

If one looks at impactful marches we've had in this country it's the marches that presented diversity that were impactful, for example, the #ZumaMustFall march. If one looks at other DA marches, we've seen less diversity meaning as a party we need to do more to portray and represent diversity.

Makashule Gana, DA Gauteng member of provincial legislature

I think there is a profound self consciousness amongst white people demonstrating some kind of political ideology says Maughan.

I suspect that a lot of this kind of reluctance of whites to affiliate themselves with any political party and potentially even the DA is that they don't want to face the level of interrogation that they will face if they are aligning themselves to a particular interest because of this kind of questioning we have of privilege.

Karyn Maughan, specialist journalist, eNCA

For me its not an issue of going or not going to marches but it is an issue of how involved white citizens of this country are in substantively addressing issues of privilege, issues of racism and massive social inequality adds Maughan.

Listen to the clip below for the full interview:


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