Democratic Alliance rejects ‘split’ reports


JOHANNESBURG, May 27 – The Democratic Alliance on Sunday dismissed reports that the party is on the verge of a split, saying the reports are “nothing more than rumours and gossip”.

“Just last month, the DA held its biggest and most diverse federal congress,” DA spokeswoman Refiloe Ntsekhe said.

This brought together thousands of delegates who reaffirmed their confidence in the party and the leadership they elected. “At the congress, we recommitted each member and public representative to the party’s values, vision for South Africa, and outlined an African liberal agenda for our country,” she said.

At this congress, the DA supported the inclusion of diversity as a value of the party and adopted 18 strategic resolutions that would form the basis of the DA’s manifesto offer ahead of the 2019 general elections.

These resolutions sought to address the many issues confronting the people of South Africa and provide practical and feasible solutions to address unemployment, crime, and immigration, among other things.

“As such, the reports in the City Press today [Sunday] are nothing more than rumours and gossip. These fictitious ‘senior leaders’ are not even mentioned once in the story, but comments from the CEO of a think tank seek to give these rumours importance,” Ntsekhe said.

The DA leadership was currently on a roadshow, engaging DA structures across the length and breadth of the country ahead of the 2019 elections. The provinces were geared up to take on what promised to be a historic election in South Africa.

“We will not be deterred from achieving what we sought out to do because South Africa cannot afford to have the DA distracted from the goal of bringing change and building one South Africa for all. We are more confident than ever that we will grow our support where we govern and confidently become the biggest party in both Gauteng and the Northern Cape.

“We currently serve more than 16 million South Africans in more than 30 cities and towns across the country. Our mission is to ensure we bring change to more and more South Africans who have been failed by the ANC’s inability to bring about material change in their lives over the past 24 years,” Ntsekhe said.

Earlier, City Press reported that “at least five senior and prominent MPs” were plotting to form a breakaway “true liberal party” which they hoped would contest next year’s general elections. Angry about the direction the party was taking under the leadership of Mmusi Maimane, the senior leaders had been holding consultations and were said to be keen on getting Western Cape premier Helen Zille to head the new force.

While Maimane and his core leadership wanted to broaden the DA’s appeal by making it responsive to transformation and economic inequality, some party ideologues believed this stance was forcing the DA to divert from the traditional liberalism for which it had stood, the newspaper reported.