Race has no place in DA‚ Maimane tells Western Cape congress

DA leader Mmusi Maimane slammed party members who use race to mobilise support.

Addressing the Western Cape elective congress in Cape Town on Saturday‚ Maimane said the DA was a party for all South Africans.

“As this party grows‚ our values are going to be important ...[we must] protect them‚” he said.

When an organisation lost sight of its goals‚ values and mission‚ contests at elective conferences become only about access to resources‚ said Maimane.

“We are not a party that mobilises and consolidates around race‚” he said‚ to loud cheers from delegates.

Maimane rejects UDM’s ultimatum on BobaniDA leader Mmusi Maimane has refused to accede to the UDM’s ultimatum to reinstate Nelson Mandela Bay deputy mayor Mongameli Bobani by Monday. 

“If you are running for a position of leadership and your message ... is that you represent a particular race or a particular group‚ let me tell you‚ you are in the wrong party.”

Maimane said the DA did not have white‚ black‚ Indian or coloured voting blocks. “In fact‚ being of a particular race can never be a reason to support a particular candidate‚” he said.

Maimane was addressing the conference as the keynote speaker. His warning came amid rumblings in the party about how different candidates appeal to DA insiders.

Some party leaders‚ including acting Western Cape chief Bonginkosi Madikizela‚ had previously slammed people — without giving names — who mobilised around race.

At the time‚ he was understood to be referring to his opponent later on Saturday for the provincial leader position‚ Lennit Max.

Maimane also slammed DA members who saw their election to office as an opportunity to find a job and dispense patronage.

“Go back to the party of patronage‚ the DA is not a party of patronage‚” he said.

And he warned against factionalism‚ saying the state the ANC found itself in — where members beat each other up with chairs — did not come about overnight but built over time through factionalism.

He warned that the DA was not a party of big egos and all who were elected should leave their egos somewhere else.

He urged DA members to love the party and remember that every voter was important. “The reason people reject the ANC is because they no longer are about them‚” he added.

Maimane further warned about complacency in the party‚ saying the DA should not be losing by-elections to small parties like the PAC.