Madik­izela de­feats race­bait­ing in W Cape DA race

CityPress - - News -

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

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