Avishkar Govender
Avishkar Govender

Choose me!

The Chairwoman
Federal Council and Federal Executive
Democratic Alliance

DA Federal Head Office
Website: da.org.za
E-Mail: [email protected]
Telephone: +27 (0) 21 465 1431

Theba Hosken House
16 Mill Street
Gardens
Cape Town

Democratic Alliance Federal Head Office
P.O. Box 1475
Cape Town
8000

Dear Ma’am

My best wishes and congratulations to your good-self, on the most recent events of the South African political calendar. It was rather intriguing to watch. It was most entertaining that the lay-press and general humdrum paid such close attention to this last meeting of the Federal Council of the Democratic Alliance. Given that we have had twenty-five years of the African National Congress freezing other political parties out of the mainstream media, dominating the mainstream media and expecting the public-as-audience to be held enthralled by every flatulent expression of National Socialism as uttered by and issued for the African National Congress; one can only find good humour in the manner in which the mainstream media scrambled to understand, and then to attempt to explain the internal machinery of the Democratic Alliance.

Unfortunately the Democratic Alliance’s last Federal Congress was not streamed live on all SABC channels, unlike the celebration of corruption that was the African National Congress’ last elective conference – which forced the public to consider the parlous democratic process endemic to the African National Congress as being some sort of model for democracy for every other political party and indeed for our parliaments, legislatures and councils. Nonetheless the Democratic Alliance, robbed of its entitlement to free publicity, has survived and is thriving. Indeed the recent events in the Democratic Alliance are testament to the deep integrity that is the hallmark of Democratic Alliance leadership. The report of the review of the performance of the Democratic Alliance calls for the key federal leadership to take responsibility for the muted faring of the Democratic Alliance in the 2019 poll.

And with good hearts they have. Now that your most emminent person is responsible for the mechanisms and processes that enable the operation of the Democratic Alliance, I have chosen to offer my own service. It was not long ago that my own estimation of the realpolitik was that my not being a member of the Democratic Alliance was in fact the reason that the 2019 turnout was less than anticipated. I feel at the best of times that my puppets follow my lead and do-as-I-do; while at the worst of times that my puppets heed my commands and obey my instructions. This is why, a few months ago, I became a member of the Democratic Alliance, a political party which I have supported quite seriously for a very long time. Now, as a member, I have an obligation to contribute to the workings of my branch and to help wherever I can with the primary purpose of branches of political parties, that of obtaining the vote. This however is not the reason for my letter today, in fact it is not even the reason for my excursion in this matter at all.

Quite simply Ma’am, I submit that your colleagues and yourself should, “Choose Me!”. I offer myself in application, to become and to be the Chief Executive Officer of the Democratic Alliance. I would be remiss if I did not say, that I would, some twenty years ago, have thought that I would be applying to become and to be the “Executive Director” of the Democratic Alliance – and that if you had asked me, some twenty years ago, I would have said that political parties don’t need “Chief Executive Officers”, because they have “Executive Directors” and elected Leaders – being officials whom account for and direct the political party’s activities. Far more comprehensive a style of leadership and stewardship, than an appointed official – sort of a bureaucrat – who doesn’t have to face the music. Well, I’m glad to say that I was wrong. The report of the review of the performance of the party, called for the Chief Executive Officer to step down – and he has. Music faced.

I proffer at this point an argument in favour of my appointment, in terms of section 6.3.3.3. of the Federal Constitution of the Democratic Alliance; consisting of three parts, being:

  1. My personal fit-for-purpose orientation that enables me to become and to be the Chief Executive Officer of the Democratic Alliance;
  2. My understanding of the work of the Chief Executive Officer of the Democratic Alliance; and
  3. My proposed plan-of-action in respect of my own contribution to the work of the Chief Executive Officer of the Democratic Alliance;

Fit-for-purpose

Whole-of-time: I am quite prepared to enter into a whole-of-time agreement with the Democratic Alliance, that would make all of my time available to the Democratic Alliance. Whole-of-time agreements are the most effective way to ensure that Chief Executive Officers are answerable to their employers and only to their employers. This would mean that any work product of mine, created or adjusted during my term of service, would belong to the party, in addition to which, any income I earn outside of my remuneration from the party, would belong to the party. This would make me the perfect Chief Executive Officer, always working and wholly incapable of any sort of deception. A profile of myself and my work is available here.

Aptitude: I believe that I have the capacity to work with a wide range of people, each of whom has something valuable to contribute and that I am able to establish positions that are acceptable to all, while enabling everyone to win. This is not horse-manure; it is factually the nature of the my operational conduct that is predicated on obtaining the best from each and every participant, while creating platforms for vibrant discussion, vigorous debate and ultimately binding agreement. A collection of my writing is available here.

Personality: I accept that I will have to manage egos, divas, thoroughbreds, superstars, mercurials and diamonds in a manner that elicits the very best work product from each and everyone of them while pandering to their personal cult celebrations of the deities of their own making. I accept that I will have to do this while encouraging a culture of humility among the staff of the party; however while I must assert a dominant personality that drives a work ethic that is never arrogant and always results focused, I will make adjustments to my own personality so that the Democratic Alliance itself is able to thrive. A sample of my sense of humour is available here.

Understanding

Constituencies: I understand that I will be required to work with the constituency construct of the party and that this construct is a local, regional and provincial one that integrates public representation, public service delivery and citizen-relationship management. Further to which because the constituency construct exists so as to enable radical subsidiarity and responsive, efficient government; that I will be required to ensure that each and every constituency is adequately resourced to fulfil its mandate.

Federal Structures: I understand that I will be required to make regular representation to the Federal Congress, the Federal Council, the Federal Executive and the National Management Committee; as well as to take instruction from these structures and their officers regarding the operation of the party. I recognize that for the efficient and effective manifestation of democracy within the party that the works of the structures and officers of the party; at federal, provincial, regional, constituency and branch iterations; must be efficiently and effectively supported and developed, and that such support and development would be my responsibility. In addition I accept that I will be required to work out of the Federal Head Office in Cape Town, the Parliamentary Offices in Cape Town, the Campaign Headquarters in Johannesburg, the Provincial Head Offices and other offices of the party situated throughout the country.

Senior Office-Bearers: I understand that I will be required to essentially work under the direction of the Chairperson of the Federal Council, who may delegate any work to me, and that my primary responsibility will be to support the work of the Chairperson of the Federal Council. Further to this I accept that I will have to work with, and take instructions from, all of the Senior Office-Bearers. However I must insist that this be extended to my working with, and taking instructions from, all Office-Bearers.

Finance: I understand that I will be required to work with and take instruction from the Federal Finance Committee, that I will be required to be the Accounting Officer of the party and that I will be required to produce budgets and reports for the Office-Bearers. Further to which I am aware that I will be responsible for the human resource planning and management of the party.

Plan-of-action

Federalism: It is my intention to work with the provincial structures of the party to ensure that each provincial unit functions independently and sensibly within the framework provided by the federal structures. To this end, while I will not be recommending that each provincial unit of the party establish itself as an independent political party, contesting elections only within its own province, I will be encouraging each provincial unit to focus on providing support to the constituencies (and in turn to the branches) so that they are able to recruit members from the communities, to train members to become activists in the communities, to support activists to campaign for the party and to win elections in their province and constituencies. Further to which I will make every effort to enable and facilitate the training of constituency committees, constituency executives and constituency heads such that they are able to produce and support public representatives that are not reliant upon donor funding. In terms of the federal outlook I will endeavor to ensure that all spokespersons of the party (at every iteration) speak one message to power, with many unique, individual voices.

Constituency: Beyond developing the constituency model of the party, I will develop co-operative relationships for the party “…with other political organisations, both foreign and domestic, which share the party’s commitment to the vision of an Open, Opportunity Society for All and its passion for freedom, dignity, equality and democracy, or which support the party in government…” in a manner that focuses such co-operation on constituency enhancement and the consolidation of the party’s position and standing in its constituencies. Foremostly, I will enable the party to connect with constituencies that have hitherto not been made aware that the party espouses a primal belief in the utmost value of the unique, individual human beings that constitute the polity, economy and society. Fundamental messages that resonate with these constituencies are that there is no such thing as a free-ride for anyone, that there is no place in our lives for abuse and that there is no tolerance for dishonesty.

Election: The Democratic Alliance will win the 2021 and 2024 elections. In 2021 the Democratic Alliance will win the popular vote and will win control of the majority of municipalities and districts, including all of the metropolitan municipalities. In 2024 the Democratic Alliance will win all of the provincial elections and the national election. This will be achieved simply by making the argument in favour of unique, individual human beings to all of the people, in a manner that resonates with the reality that where the Democratic Alliance governs, it governs responsibly, equitably and justly. The people of South Africa are crying out for the freedom that they were promised. After twenty-five years the people are not any better off than they were before. The Democratic Alliance is the only political party that will deliver freedom to all of the people as they expect it. Carefully the Democratic Alliance will speak to the issues that are foremost in the minds and among the complaints of the people, while offering the values, principles and program of action of the party as the curative alternative.

Finally I choose at this time to make the following statement in respect of the Democratic Alliance:

Freedom, Fairness, Opportunity and Diversity

Principally the Democratic Alliance believes that every individual is a unique human being who is entitled to their own freedoms, rights and responsibilities; and that every individual is a unique human being who is entitled to their own opportunities, works and personalities. This means that the Democratic Alliance rejects the notion that some people should benefit to the detriment of others; and further that the Democratic Alliance rejects the notion that the polity, economy and society should be considered as being made up of groups of people who are all the same in some ways – because the Democratic Alliance considers the polity, economy and society as being made up of unique, individual human beings. When contemplating the means by which these unique, individual human beings will progress from where they originated, to where they are now to where they want to be – the Democratic Alliance firmly holds that personal choices and hard work should be complemented by opportunities that are available to all of the people, not just some, and that these opportunities cannot, should not and must not be replaced or displaced by itinerant handouts or free-rides. The Democratic Alliance recognizes that in addition to the multitude of personalities that exist because we are unique, individual human beings, that there exists a diversity which goes beyond our humanity and which explains our individual responses to our origins, our beings and our futures – not because our cultures are straight-jackets that constrain who we are – but rather that our unique individuality has over time shaped our cultures to be what they are today; and that, that is a celebration of our diversity – being a product of our individuality.

Open, Opportunity Society for All

The Democratic Alliance currently subscribes to the view that the Constitution of the Republic of South Africa is a valuable instrument that needs to be supported by an Open, Opportunity Society for All that gives effect to the very empowering statements contained within the Constitution of the Republic of South Africa. This means that for the Constitution of the Republic of South Africa to work as intended, the relationship between government and the people needs to change from a patron-client relationship that favours pockets of a few groups to an Open, Opportunity Society that favours all of the people. Notwithstanding this, the Democratic Alliance reserves the right to meet and consult with all of the people, and to draft a new constitution for the Republic of South Africa, being one that is predicated upon an Open, Opportunity Society for All.

Responsible, Equitable and Just Government

Fundamentally the Democratic Alliance will give effect to Responsible, Equitable and Just Government by ensuring that Democratic Alliance Governments are Responsible – that is that they are honest and accountable to all of the people not just some – that Democratic Alliance Governments are Equitable – that is that they exist for the benefit of all of the people not just some – and that Democratic Alliance Governments are Just – that is that they serve all of the people not just some.

Freedom, Dignity, Equality and Democracy

It cannot be stated more overtly, the Democratic Alliance is focused on freedom. Freedom that actually liberates the unique, individual human beings to enable them to achieve their intended objectives, to realise their intended goals and to attain their intended aspirations. Meaningful freedom. This freedom is only actually valuable when the unique, individual human beings are possessed of their own dignity and are, through their own dignity, able to live, work, learn and believe with self-confidence and self-respect. However this dignity cannot be abused by inequality of opportunity and/or inequality of citizenship, such inequality being reprehensible to the Democratic Alliance. Most of all the Democratic Alliance is committed to propagating a democratic process within the Democratic Alliance, through the branches of the Democratic Alliance into communities, and through the Democratic Alliance Governments into the polity, economy and society.

Democratic Alliance in Government

The reality is that where the Democratic Alliance governs, it governs responsibly, equitably and justly; for all of the people. This means that the Democratic Alliance in Government is actually living the promise of Building One South Africa for All. Gains from citizen satisfaction with Democratic Alliance Governments will lead to stronger positions that do not necessitate coalitions with ideologically divergent coalition partners, this will consolidate the Democratic Alliance’s position as the best choice for government.

Having said this much, I must make considerable recommendation of my own tea-making skills, Ma’am; and may I suggest that as envisaged by the description of the work of the Chief Executive Officer of the Democratic Alliance, that I would be most willing to entertain any number of your guests, for any length of time, so as to enable you to have the opportunity to win them over to a position that advances the interests and standings of the Democratic Alliance, as is your prowess.

As always, Ma’am it has been my privilege and singular honour.

Yours in Liberty

Avishkar Govender
Durban, KwaZulu-Natal
South Africa

Website: thoughtleader.co.za/avishkargovender
E-Mail: [email protected]
Telephone: +27837997016

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