Is the oppositional DA teetering on irrelevance as a spent force?


Clyde Ramalaine

JOHANNESBURG- The Democratic Alliance a year and some change before 2019 attests a party disheveled, upstaged in its own public relations game, lost in strategy, therefore, confirming regress and decline. It’s ten-year-long obsession of personalising the ANC into a Jacob Zuma whom it made the centre of its campaign strategy in a target of a calculated three c’s focus of cadre deployment, corruption and capture has run its course and its purpose. Its adoption of oppositional politics appears to have cost it more than what it had hoped to attain with a Zuma removal.

In a sense the DA reminds me of a little chihuahua that has been chasing the bus and the bus came to an abrupt standstill, it is  more confused and surprised that the bus came to a standstill because it’s only true pursuit and purpose was to chase the bus with the hope it never decides to stand still. In the week of Valentine’s Day 2018, the DA’s dream and chase episode came to a screeching halt. Its moment of celebration became its moment of undoing not because its demise was not known to the observing eye. It fell apart before our eyes as a party deeply troubled and confronted with real challenges.

The proverbial bus the ANC though tardy and slow given its age and archaic in methods and known for its failure not to lead when and where it matters most, despite being entrusted came to a proverbial standstill. The ANC overwhelmed by its internal fear of loss decided to honour the nagging barking chihuahua perhaps since it’s barking began to effect the new drivers of the bus. For some of us, it will always be a challenge to rationalise as to why the bus became intimidated by the noise of the chihuahua. It appears the bus with a new driver and some in front of the bus, stopped because it internalized the notion of fear peddled by the chihuahua that it can crash on a speed-hump come 2019.

The DA, therefore, was handed an early victory if not Christmas treat, yet this moment equally exposed it as never really having figured out what it will do when the ANC decided to listen to it. It is only then that the DA realised what it spent its better part of a decade as strategy never really focussed on growing itself in answering the challenges of SA in its real sense. It realised what it made the epicentre of its focus, namely white interest is not just unfashionable but glaringly racist and therefore primitive.

The DA finds itself beset with many challenges, from the core of its conservative identity violently protesting the veneer of its fading liberal claim to its white interest demanding all other interest to be subservient. All this while it upholds its famed black face politics.

The DA became so arrogant in its oppositional politics, notice I say not opposition politics, that it figured it is so sure of the Coloured vote that it can pretty much do as it pleases. It would show that by replacing its Cape Town Mayor Patricia De Lille with what apartheid defined as an African in its narrow and racist obsession to cascade privilege in a racial frame of apparent excess. The DA’s arrogance would see it invent a water crisis, for a deal to approve technology to in return gain millions of elections funds for its war -chest. It mastered the act of oppositionalism when it never learned the true role of being an opposition in the democracy.

It tried to deflect its many conflicting leadership challenges that escapes no racial frame. It showed itself willing to conflate party and state in this politically man-made water crisis.  It exerted all its energy to get the ANC to stop, it just never thought-through what it would do when the proverbial bus finally stops.

Unfortunately, it is a party not ready for any true transformation, it’s handing over from Helen Zille to a Mmusi Maimane came embroiled in the late erudite Allistair Sparks’ inconvenient truth of an admiration of Hendrik Verwoerd, a stench that settled on the nightgown of Zille in her finest moment, and despite  perfume and cologne real and fake simply refuse to leave the room.

Now it is confused as to what to do with the standing bus, it has finally dawned it cannot really bite the bus, neither can it harm the bus because it never was a threat. As it stands confused it must make sense of its own handling of De Lille’s case and how it was defeated in its own motion, a surreal moment, for it was undone with what you the master in.

For the first time, its public relations machinery is out of ideas, ready to accept it has no plan for South Africa at least those apartheid extended a denotation of black the same that defines the SA masses.  It never had a plan because it always existed to preserve self-centred white minority interest.

Need I remind you it opposed free – education as tabled by the former president, creating all forms of suspicion rather defending an apartheid economy as threatened by this announcement, asking questions when the students told us free education is not a demand but a right. It missed a golden chance to deceive us that it is more than an oppositional outfit, yet it could not escape its own identity since the record shows it was against the ANC on free education.

Its oppositional stance did not escape our observation when it failed to support the much-needed land redress reality, it has no answer as to why 24 years in democracy South Africa must still be owned in private land ownership of 72% by those who claim a denotation of white for their common identity. It re-echoes every syllable of the Vryheid’s Front because the black threat to white identity fear-mongering was always its currency and white interest the real DA ideology at heart.

It proved us all right that it remains an alliance with race as it diaphragm willing to manipulate and abuse it for its aim of protecting a false white identity and interest.  The DA is, therefore, a spent force, it will never be able to deceive the masses that it fights for a just cause, it has confirmed itself a party the opposite of true economic emancipation of the masses, a party that incessantly defends the continuance of robbed land since 1652. Yes, the DA is a party that does not really want the masses in youth to be educated as sponsored by the State, because it long lacked the energy to challenge white monopoly capital to pay up for this injustice.

So the chihuahua, the DA, got the bus, the ANC  to stop, it has no plan what to do now. The bus stopped because it too in this season is confused and has adopted for public relations stunts as its core focus when it appears reneging on what is its exacted mandate. Can we remind the chihuahua and the bus, the masses have never been more clear, they want radical economic transformation, the land returned from 1652, the SARB reviewed in ownership of foreigners the economy transformed, and unapologetically so.

This is exactly why the DA cannot remotely hope to be a significant political player in the future.  This is also by the same token why the current ANC leadership, that is really completing the 5th Administration runs the risk of being the shortest in lifespan, if they fail to respect the quest of the masses and delay the masses in retracts of motions for further consultation in commissions, task teams, panels of advisory teams while Rome is burning. The masses tell the chihuahua and the bus we will not wait on you, we owe both of you nothing when comes to our economic emancipation and land redress.

Clyde Ramalaine
Political Commentator and Writer
Chairperson of TMoSA Foundation – The Thinking Masses of SA
PICTURE: Supplied