'DA has gone back to Tony Leon’s party. The future is bleak'

DA leader Mmusi Maimane’s resignation on Wednesday – along with Athol Trollip (former mayor of Nelson Mandela Bay) – have left the official opposition in disarray.

Their resignations come in the wake of Johannesburg Mayor Herman Mashaba quitting on Monday.

The Money Show’s Bruce Whitfield interviewed Mcebisi Ndletyana, Associate Professor at the Department of Politics and International Relations at the University of Johannesburg.

Ndletyana said he wasn’t surprised by Maimane’s resignation.

Mmusi Maimane announces his resignation as DA leader, with Helen Zille and Athol Trollip in the background, on 23 October 2019. Picture: Sethembiso Zulu/EWN

Helen, since she left the leadership of the DA, has pretty much set herself up as an alternative centre of the party… she was opposed to the direction Mmusi was taking the party into… When Helen was elected Chairperson, it was a rejection of Mmusi’s leadership… and, possibly, Athol as well, because he stood with Mmusi.

Mcebisi Ndletyana, Associate Professor - Department of Politics and International Relations (UJ)

The future of the DA looks bleak, he said.

The party has pretty much gone back to Tony Leon’s DA… They seem to be more concerned about the loss of conservative white voters to the FF Plus than they are about attracting more blacks… It is retreating into a regional, predominantly white party.

Mcebisi Ndletyana, Associate Professor - Department of Politics and International Relations (UJ)

Ndletyana says the DA’s multiracial leadership was not matched by policies that speak to most black voters.

The attempt to change the party… was tokenism… Most black voters saw through it…

Mcebisi Ndletyana, Associate Professor - Department of Politics and International Relations (UJ)

Listen to the interview in the audio below.

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