The opinion piece entitled “Even worse than a Zuma presidency is a DA opposition” is bound to cause the average The Weekender reader to choke on his toast. Intrigued by the headline, I couldn’t resist reading what the former political editor of the Business Day, Jacob Dlamini, had to say.
See for yourself here.
Perhaps the most astonishing paragraph was this:
A good start would be for the DA to state in unambiguous terms that DA rule would not mean a return to the days of apartheid, however reformed and refined. Zille should make the point that the DA is committed to change and outline exactly how that change is different from what the ANC has put forward so far. Zille must present the DA as a party of change — not a party that fights change, not a party that fights blacks. That would be a good start.
A return to apartheid? Since when has the DA advocated that? On its website the party clearly states it’s vision for “a prosperous open opportunity society in which every person is free, responsible, equal before the law, secure, and has the opportunity to improve the quality of his or her life.”
Dlamini accuses Zille of being “determined to absolve the DA of its political responsibility to mobilise and bid for power.” Yet the DA’s mission statement says:
“Together, we are committed to building a political movement that is home to South Africans from all communities, and that will effectively challenge for political power.”
It is easy to laugh this piece off as a bad joke. After all, it is so ridiculous in its assertions as to be humorous. But sadly this is no laughing matter. It highlights the ignorance and naiveté of a supposedly top journalist for an erudite publication. Clearly Jacob Dlamini knows very little about the DA’s agenda. A read-through its website or one of Zille’s “SA Today” newsletters dispels his many off-the-mark accusations. Obviously peering beyond the prism of political prejudice to find out more about the official opposition was just too much effort.
If Dlamini’s opinions are shared by very many others then I fear for the future of vibrant politics. Perhaps the DA needs a good PR agency. Or perhaps opinionated columnists ought to do a bit of research before making laughable pronouncements from on high.