Mmusi Maimane disappoints DA supporters

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What does the future hold for Mmusi Maimane?

Once, during an interview, Democratic Alliance leader Mmusi Maimane said that when he was a small boy he dreamed of becoming a fireman. Well, it seems as if his childhood dream has come true because he is certainly very busy putting out fires! The internal and external challenges now faced by Mmusi Maimane could not have come at a worse time. The charming, well-spoken and well-educated Mmusi Maimane is still establishing his position as newly elected leader of the official opposition. Many party supporters have placed their hopes on him to turn the DA into a true non-racial party. With the crucial local elections just around the corner, the last thing Mmusi Maimane now needs is detractors from within his party and external allegations of fraud.

What are the issues facing Mmusi Maimane?

  • The Dianne Kohler Barnard affair just does not want to go away. She admitted to sharing, on Facebook, an article suggesting that the country was better off under that awful tyrant, P.W Botha. She apologised and publicly stated that she made a very big mistake. Nevertheless, the federal executive of the DA decided to punish her by kicking her out of the party. This decision has been criticized widely. Even Tony Leon, previous leader of the party called the decision unjust. Mmusi Maimane is holding his ground, however, saying that the party had no option other than to clearly show that it will not tolerate any form of racism. Whether the decision by the federal executive was justified or not is not the real issue, however. The affair has caused great unhappiness within the party and such divisions can only damage the DA’s performance in the upcoming elections.

  • Contravening Parliament’s Ethics Code by not declaring donations has caused Mmusi Maimane immense damage. He maintains that the entire issue is the result of a serious administrative error and that it has been rectified. It is unfortunate that he also stated: “I believe it to be hypocrisy of the highest order for the ANC to pursue this complaint when so many of their MPs have fallen foul of the Ethics Code.” Is Mmusi Maimane now saying that contraventions by others allow him to contravene the law too? The DA has been working hard to create the image of a party that will not stand for corruption. Perhaps he should have thought about it before he committed this enormous political blunder.

Mmusi Maimane has work to do. He must heal the rifts in his own party and he must own up to his own mistakes instead of crying “but everyone is doing it!” The elections are just around the corner.