South Africa’s main opposition Democratic Alliance (DA) party on Sunday dismissed claims from critics that the organisation was “predominantly a white organisation.”The accusations come a year after the DA dismissed its first and only black party leader in Mmusi Maimane over policy differences.
According to the current interim DA leader John Steenhuisen, who is contesting for the substantive post of Federal President with Mbali Ntuli, the party today reflected the country’s diversity in age, creed, origins and race.
Steenhuisen said: “More than 53% of the people who vote for the DA are not white South Africans.
“This is precisely because people have realised that this is the one party that’s bringing South Africans from all back grounds together, regardless of their skin colour, religion, age and geographic location.”
He added: “We focus on leading that change towards non-racialism in South Africa – accepting people, not as representatives of the colour of their skin, but as an individual who have something to offer to South Africa.”
Ntuli backed the interim leaders and his rival for the top part post in this assertion when they spoke on the sidelines of the party’s virtual national congress.
On the party’s decline in national elections votes last year, the two men attributed this to the lack of direction and in-fighting among senior party leaders under Maimane’s leadership.
The situation was different now since Maimane’s departure, they said, with greater enthusiasm shown now as could be seen at the Durban gathering of its supporters ahead of the virtual party convention to elect a new DA leader.
The DA was formed after the demise of the former National Party, the all-white body that ushered in apartheid laws into the country.