Tag Archives: DA

Has the time for ‘talks about talks’ come in SA?

The student protests of the last year are reminiscent of the 1976 student uprisings. Those protests were the precursor to a political change in South Africa less than a decade later. When young, educated “born free” South Africans express anger and impatience it’s time to pay attention. They have shown they want action. They want…

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The assassination of Shaka the unifier is a lesson for the ANC

South Africans celebrate the enigmatic historical figure of Shaka Zulu, the military revolutionary who rose from illegitimacy to be a unifying monarch who used alliances and the occasional judicial assassination to build a Zulu powerhouse on South Africa’s east coast in the 1800s. Ironically, while Shaka’s use of military power, diplomacy and patronage succeeded at…

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Why a coalition between the ANC and DA would be good for Johannesburg and both parties

Johannesburg is a very different beast to Cape Town. Bigger, more dense, constantly growing; it’s the economic heart of South Africa. Despite its faults, the local ANC government in Joburg has received mostly clean audits and managed to do okay given the massive challenges it faces in such a complex area. There is a lot…

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The battle for the heart and soul of the DA

Two out of three ain’t bad South Africans are continuously singing the same tune to the DA, to borrow from the artist Meatloaf “I want you, I need you, but there ain’t no way I’m ever gonna love you”. But unlike South Africans Meatloaf goes on to say, “but two out of three ain’t bad”….

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‘Racist’ black South Africans who kept their jobs?

From Dianne Kohler-Barnard to Chris Hart and Penny Sparrow, the rallying call has been for punitive action, namely remove them from their jobs. In addition the discovery that Sparrow is a DA member has prompted the ANC to lodge a complaint with the South African Human Rights Commission pleading the commission to investigate racism within…

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Explaining the DA’s shadow cabinet reshuffle

Last week, DA chief whip John Steenhuisen announced small changes to the DA’s shadow cabinet. Most notably senior DA MP, and Wilmot James’ unsuccessful leadership campaign manager, David Maynier, was moved from defence to finance; while newcomer, Michael Cardo, was moved to economic development. Gareth van Onselen, a fierce critic of incumbent DA leader Mmusi…

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The real problem with the DA’s Values Charter

The opportunity for a genuine debate about liberalism in South Africa, started by the DA’s adoption of its Values Charter, is likely to be squandered. In two separate pieces, MPs Marius Redelinghuys and Gavin Davis, both supporters of new DA Leader Mmusi Maimane, demonstrate the real reason for their staunch defence of the Charter. It…

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Maimane in, but DA still struggles with discernible identity

Mmusi Maimane it is, then. Certainly since the resignation of Helen Zille in April, Maimane seemed the obvious choice to lead the DA. A near-90% landslide victory against candidate Wilmot James showed just that, and underlined the blistering speed of his ascension. On the face of it Maimane looks good for the undertaking: greatly composed,…

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Maimane and the Constitution

In the most direct test of Mmusi Maimane’s understanding of constitutionalism and liberty, the DA’s heir-presumptive has been found wanting. Maimane is widely reported to have stated that he would allow issues like the death penalty and gay rights to be determined by the vote. Understandably, this has caused much upset, among Maimane’s supporters particularly….

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Richard Calland and the Maimane moment

Richard Calland’s latest article (“Maimane may engineer Zuma’s exit”) is a master class in fanciful political analysis. Even if published in the opinion section of the Mail & Guardian, its grasp on reality makes it more suited to fiction than a newspaper. His belief that the next leader of the DA would be able, or…

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