DA delays list of names, fears exodus
Party haemorrhaging black leaders
The DA has decided to wait for the formal proclamation of the election date before announcing the lists of its candidates, amid fears that a premature disclosure of names could lead to an exodus of leaders who do not make the cut.
The official opposition’s provincial chapters are divided over the timing of the release of the list, with heightened concerns that those who do not get council jobs will dump the organisation, which is already haemorrhaging black leaders.
Gauteng is among the provinces that want the list to be released and the party to deal with the consequences of those who leave as a result of not being selected. The Northern Cape and Kwazulu-natal are of the view the release of names will have a negative impact on the party’s campaign towards October 27.
The party’s federal executive decided on Monday that the list would be released once President Cyril Ramaphosa proclaimed the elections, scheduled for October 27.
The Independent Electoral Commission recently appointed former Deputy Chief Justice Dikgang Moseneke to conduct an independent review of what constituted “free and fair elections” under Covid-19 conditions, following calls for the polls to be postponed.
In a memorandum dated 5 July, DA federal council chairperson Helen Zille told party leaders that the federal executive had noted the risks that the party was facing “in a premature announcement of its candidates” for the local polls.
The party resolved “that our municipal lists of candidates for wards and proportional representation will be released simultaneously with the formal proclamation of the election”.
“The DA will announce, at times and places to be strategically determined, other mayoral candidates where we intend to mount specific mayoral campaigns in the run-up to the election. Communication to this effect is circulated to all structures of the party,” she said.
This came as concerns deepened in the party that the organisation was likely to continue losing support in the wake of the departure of many senior black leaders. The DA continued to bleed support in the November and the recent by-elections.
The party last month defended a list of election managers that was predominantly white, in the wake of criticism that it lacked diversity and fears it would cost the official opposition votes.