South Africa: DA Disorder - a Power Struggle Clothed in Ideology


Something is rotten in the state of the Democratic Alliance. While analysts struggle for a prognosis - is it a symptom of liberalism, nationalism, social democratism or racism? - the truth is that it isn't ideological. It's not so highfalutin. It's really just another dirty old political power struggle.

Unlike factionalism in the ANC, where so-called comrades generally nail their colours to the mast of their choice of leaders - DA members, until now, have sought the more "sophisticated" option of public embrace and private backstabbing.

"Sophisticated" politicians give an air of discretion; they are good at keeping secrets. They don't leak information about each other's nefarious deeds or distribute fake news.

So, what's changed?

The popular view - and the view the party would probably ultimately prefer you to believe - is that the DA's poor performance in the 2019 general election and its abysmal performance in subsequent by-elections have occasioned deep introspection.

They plumbed so deep they hit paydirt - the sidelined former leader and Western Cape Premier Helen Zille came bubbling back to the surface.

Now, we are led to believe, the product of all this collective navel-gazing will be debated, in a sophisticated manner, and the...

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