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.

What if Mmusi Maimane Became President?

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Mmusi Maimane as President?

It is my humble opinion that we expect far too much from the President.  There are few individuals with the integrity and leadership of a Nelson Mandela.  Mmusi Maimane may be a hell of a guy, but he is not the next Madiba.  He is young, relatively inexperienced and has a long way to go to prove himself to the public.  In the new political atmosphere, statesmanship is a concept that belongs to a bygone era, a time with iconic leaders like Winston Churchill, John F Kennedy and our own Nelson Mandela.

Those who take up the reins of presidency are limited by the existing political establishment. They have to tread softly on the grounds of pre-existing conditions and legalities that could trip up a saint. Except for Jacob Zuma of course, for whom the political arena has been a playground with him the established boss of the yard.  In the wake of this presidency, it will be especially hard for Mmusi Maimane should he become president to turn back the clock to good governance.

The five crucial democratic indicators

  • Personal Security
  • National Security
  • Political representation
  • Educational equality and
  • Economic participation

as spelled out by the Ibrahim Index of Democracy in Africa will be the next Long Road to Freedom that any new president worth his salt will have to trudge.

Therefore I don’t think it will not make a big difference if Mmusi Maimane became president. Without addressing the underlying faults in our political system he will simply become another man who is liable for corruption.  Looking back at the development of our post Apartheid political era it seems that we were all very naïve to have imagined that our own colonial type government could bring about a different outcome than what we have seen in the rest of Africa.  A system that can benefit one ethnic group over all the others and that champions cultural differences over human equality can never produce a good outcome for all.  It is time that we set our myriad of differences aside and look at what we all need.  A secure South Africa is called for. One where farmers are left in peace to produce food and export products;  school systems allows for everyone to be lifted out of poverty through education and where a concerted effort is put into building public services that serve the functioning of our beautiful land.  Let us not put our hope in one man, but let us look to the people of South Africa to bring about the much necessary change through making their voices heard in direct political involvement.