Madikizela defeats racebaiting in W Cape DA race
Emerging from a bruising and at times racially charged campaign, newly elected Western Cape DA leader Bonginkosi Madikizela is setting his sights on consolidating the party’s support ahead of the 2019 general elections.
Madikizela won the race to lead the party in the only province where it governs. Some predict he will be the DA’s premier candidate ahead of the elections. He played this down, saying “that is not my ultimate goal”.
In his acceptance speech, Madikizela vowed to unite the party and declared internal contestation over.
In the build-up to yesterday’s elective congress, DA sources spoke of a racially divisive campaign by some candidates.
“There is talk that the DA is sidelining coloured people and is becoming a party of black Africans and whites, with coloured people, the majority in the province, only being used during general elections to vote for the party,” one DA member said ahead of yesterday’s vote.
Madikizela told City Press after his election that it was not the first time that some leaders campaigned along racial lines. Without mentioning names, he alleged that certain leaders thought the DA could only be led by those who came from the majority race in a particular area.
“That is not how democracy works. In fact, the results today prove that delegates and our members didn’t buy into that.”
Earlier in the day, party leader Mmusi Maimane warned that the party must not mobilise around race.
“If you’re running for a position of leadership, and your message – whether overtly or between the lines – is that you represent a certain race or group, then you’re in the wrong party.
– Andisiwe Makinana