As culled from a City Press report, Ernest Tobie and Mpuse Mokone, the DA Councillors at Mangaung Metropolitan Municipality in Bloemfontein who were suspended in September are wailing that the DA (Democratic Alliance) party is being choked by racial tendencies and that black members of the party are continuously being marginalized.
It was reported that the Councillors, who were suspended after they were accused of organizing a social gathering “along racial lines”, expressed their dissatisfaction with the leadership of the party alleging that it has failed “to end the pervasive racial tendencies and marginalization of blacks” in the party.
One of the Councillors, Tobie said “we felt inspired when Maimane was elected as our leader, but now we are totally disappointed that, even under his leadership, the status quo has remained where blacks are still expected to be followers of whites and rubber-stamp all decisions they make on their own somewhere outside the caucus.
Maimane is aware of our challenges, but he doesn’t seem to be doing anything, while racial tendencies continue to devour the party. We are here, being suspended from the party, because we did not seek permission from the white man in our plan to have a social gathering of black Councillors. The gathering never happened, yet we get accused of organizing along racial lines.”
The Councillors who can’t still tell what’s up with them and their party in line with their suspension lamented about their unknown fate hinting that they are being witch-hunted to find reasons for their subsequent dismissal from the party.
Commenting, DA’s caucus leader Hardie Viviers stressed that the DA is “not a racial organisation.” According to what Viviers said, organizing a social gathering “along racial lines goes against (DA’s) founding policy”.
With that, he related that DA’s federal legal commission is investigating the issue to ascertain whether there are “any evidence to substantiate allegations that the two Councillors were organizing (the gathering) along racial lines”.
While Viviers pointed out that “running an internal campaign among black members only” goes against DA’s policy. Tobie maintained that it was an innocent intent meant to offer a platform where black Councillors “could meet to share ideas, assist other Councillors in areas where they lack in council-business matters, and generally empower and build one another”.
He calmed that they’re being sidelined because they challenged decisions that were taken out of caucus. They “expect us to rubber-stamp them without question,” he added and iterated that “black leaders who stay with the DA are expected to be passive followers…they always find a way to remove those who appear to be defiant and talk too much,” Tobie alleged.
Viviers debunked that stating – “we don’t always agree on issues, but when this happens, we engage further and subsequently vote on it.”
DA leader, Mmusi Maimane reportedly refused to comment on the matter but refereed City Press to the DA branch in the Free State for comments.