The DA ran a hollow campaign from start to finish!


In a few days we will be casting our votes for the parties of our choice a privilege and right we all share in democracy.


However, has anyone noticed the official opposition the DA aka Deceptive Alliance as some in social media circles have dubbed it ran a hollow campaign, a campaign with no manifesto, message or commitment. The DA engineered a campaign absent in core pillar-definition.


A campaign known for making the ANC president famous, because everything that the DA leader Maimane had said from before the start of this 2016 municipal elections campaign has been Zuma, Zuma, Zuma. Everything he says today in every meeting of white-less in attendance rally he hold is Zuma.


How does Maimane get it right to be the Donald Trump of our local politics, high on noise empty on content?


How does the DA get it right to be this hollow and deceive itself to think we can’t see through it, we can’t hear through this hollowness and we can’t feel this emptiness?


The DA ran a campaign clutching at straws and premised on a notion to rewrite SA political history in telling us Nelson Mandela was a DA member!


This hollow sophism and retort stands in the same tradition of Zille’s claim of Biko.


Yes Mandela serves a president of SA for one term but the DA in hollowness attempts airbrushing our history and claiming Madiba as politically androgynous in choice of party. They want us to believe they speak for Mandela, when Mandela from beyond the grave told us all what party he would join in the hereafter and committed if he finds none he will establish an ANC Branch in heaven.


Now the DA in hollowness of content, attempts telling us Mandela is ignorant maybe even stupid like all the millions who have until now trusted the ANC to lead.


I must admit if you compare Madame Zille’s campaigns to that of the Hollow Maimane you too will see this was a more hollow campaign, this is to a greater degree a hollow campaign.


I have yet to hear what the DA will do beyond claiming “change”. I have tried to understand its campaign but it tells us about an ANC guy who wears black, green and gold for his party colors who does the dab at 74 with ease.


Indeed an expensive hollow campaign. This hollowness resonates from Cape to Limpopo.


It’s much made of attempt to capture the Nelson Mandela Bay Metro, which started with their choice for their abrupt last elections as directed by foreign funders, produced Mr. Hollow!


This campaign has petered out into a loose shot at nothing with a further hollow Athol Trollip, who has become increasingly silent in hollowness.


It’s Western Cape incumbent mayor Patricia de Lille, the earliest black face case today visits the areas of squalor like Crossroads wearing a mask among the Western Cape black poor, because their poverty and diseases as a government neglect them is contagious yet she wears no mask among the white rich.


When you ask any DA leader or candidate in this 2016 municipal elections what they will do as I tried with one of its newest hollow recruit a Georgen Miggels rom somewhere in the Eastern Cape, you quickly find out two things.


The Deceptive Alliance is loud on ANC and Zuma but cannot tell you what they going to do if elected to office. A pervasive sense of complete hollowness echoes and re-echoes through its ranks.


Secondly more disturbing is the hollow notion that South African voters who vote for the ANC are uninformed and stupid. This hollow myth parades in volumes from the top leadership in the DA and reverberates through every nook and cranny of this Alliance.


It’s Gauteng mayoral candidate Herman Mashaba is vocal in hollowness of disagreeing with the party policies. This again attests a party obsessed with a black face to evidence them not as a white conservative, interest and hegemony sensitive alliance. It simply didn’t learn from cutting deals with black faces as the Zille and Ramphele kiss of betrayal in 2014 left more than a smudge.


This hollowness is endemic, and is heard in its Ekurhuleni choice for candidacy, Ghaleb Cachalia. Cachalia who earlier boldly claimed he didn’t leave the ANC the ANC left him, and was proven a liar. Since Cachalia never was an ANC member clearly has no political track record as he claimed and is publicly berated by his own blood as trying to score on the his family name. Hollowness resonates throughout the DA. In fact it has become the central life mark of the DA in this season.


Somewhere the SA voters have seen through this hollow attempt of a highly suspicious Barak Obama impersonation. A factory fault in production that produced a hollow item.


Across the length and breadth of this complex society voters are not as ignorant this hollow campaign assumes.


I dare categorically assert Mmusi Maimane will evidence the decline of the DA in numbers in every area it claimed success before.


You simply cannot get away with this type of claimed change rhetoric in which the content remains begging.


Clyde N.S. Ramalaine

An ANC Voter


Open letter to Mmusi Maimane candidate for DA Leadership

Dear Mr. Maimane,
Re: South Africa needs a Transformed Opposition:
On the eve of this historic moment in the history of South African Opposition Politics, I have thought it right to implore to give due consideration for the moment we stand in. It is historic to have a Dr. Wilmot James and Mr. Mmusi Maimane as the two contenders for the DA leadership in this season. All South Africans must acknowledge that this is significant  in the evolution of our democratic narrative.
Our Democracy warrants an opposition party not an oppositional party, as we have witnessed throughout the period of 21 years of our political freedom.
The DA with this moment that will transpire in 24 Hours is at it its proverbial Rubicon, it can either stand still, which translates to going back to 1948 or move forward to the realisation of the promise of April, 27 1994.
I am of the firm belief that the standing still or going forward is not a “black” number issue. Rather it is an ideological shift needed within the liberal project of South Africa for the next stage of continuing the work we started since April 27, 1994. Race is neither the subject, nor the point in our non-racial future; we cannot afford to make it the epicentre of this moment in opposition politics.
South Africa needs a transformed DA, it does not merely need a “black” face, as we attempted in a history of Tri- Cameral parliament of 1983 or the more recent attempts of the Zille, Mazibuko and De Lille triumvirate and the attempt to parachute Dr. Mamphela Ramphele into DA leadership.
As this moment presents itself in historic stature for the opposition party, South Africa in national agenda warrants a move to the middle ground of political leadership as we so acutely were reminded with recent xenophobic attacks, our role in SADC, our role in Africa and the World.
That the DA needs a shift from its entrenched paradigm and position of oppositional politics to this middle ground where the dream of future as embarked upon in the national polls of 1994 and built further with ensuing leaderships as trusted by the polls in the form of the governing party.
I am fully cognisant of the reality that you may well have the numbers to secure a win in tomorrow’s internal leadership election.
1. You are a young politician with hardly 5-10 years of exposure to national politics to be the custodian of the needed transformation in opposition politics.
2. The task at hand requires a seasoned politician to take the liberal project in the DA and to transform it into the direction our country needs. If you know anything about the evolution of the British, liberal politics and the democratic institutions it took seasoned leaders and minds to reach the point of transforming it by the turn of the previous century. (Locke, Walpole, Burke, Disraeli, and Peale to name a random few)
3. The country needs a transformed opposition that the promise of 1994 pointed to.
4. It is not ideal to have a “black” face merely for election purposes with a conservative ideology driving the liberal project. The electorate is wiser than that and may well judge you harshly in future elections.
5. It cannot be that we allow the conservative minds to drive a black face leader agenda at the expense of the much-needed transformation of our opposition politics from being oppositional to a meaningful opposition to the governing party.

It is in the light of the above, that I will prevail on you to put the country’s needs first. My unsolicited advice is to find the energy and time to grow your knowledge and experience in the current position you have assumed for the last year as Parliamentary leader for the DA.

Your time in the future may yet come, and you may be the right person come that hour. Do not allow those who want SA to go back to 1948 to lull you into believing your candidacy is the answer for this moment.
With this,  we wish both candidates a fair election and a good result for SA.
I trust my musing in this regard, finds you receptive.

Yours sincerely.
Bishop Clyde N. S. Ramalaine


Who really decided Zille must step aside for a Maimane leadership?


-Maimane’s candidacy – project Obama, is not his, neither is it Zille’s but perhaps an International one –

James Baldwin, accredited for having singed the frontal lobes of many white intellectuals in 1963 writes the following: “White Americans find it difficult, as white people elsewhere do, to divest themselves of the notion that they are in possession of some intrinsic value that black people need or want. And his assumption – which, for example, makes the solution of the Negro problem depend on the speed with which the Negroes accept and adopt white standards – is revealed in all kinds of striking way, from Bobby Kennedy’s assurance that a Negro can become President in forty years, to the unfortunate tone of warm congratulation with which so many liberals address their Negro equals-an achievement that not only proves the comforting fact that perseverance has no colour, but also overwhelmingly corroborates the white man’s sense of his own value” (James Baldwin 1963 THE FIRE NEXT TIME)


From this citation, it is clear that Barack Hussein Obama’s presidency was not merely a prophecy but an orchestrated activity in which the Kennedy Clan played its critical role exactly 40 years later.


We dare not forget the critical role the last senior of the Kennedy clan (Ted Kennedy) played in securing the 44th president as the first ‘black’ USA president in history.   I am of the view that orchestration is not unique to an Obama but may prove very plausible, in this musing in the succession debate of the Democratic Alliance.


A week or so ago, the leader of the opposition and the DA Helen Zille, announced her non-availability for contest of DA leadership in the immediate future. The aftermath of this press briefing afforded us many interpretations of this sudden unfolding paradigm. There are those who bestowed honour and salutations of congratulations on her for ‘her’ decision as that, which attest, and confirms progressive leadership.


Yet, others of whom I am one, remonstrated her decision did not come without a nudge if not an instruction.


Perhaps it is important to, first provide a context, Helen Zille makes her statement literally within days after she had returned from the USA having concluded a fundraising exercise. It is said she assembled a select and distinct group of people for her brainstorming at Leeuwenhof; two of those included in this meeting are some of her or the DA’s biggest funders. Maimane despite being the leader of the opposition in parliament did not attend this meeting, but the CEO of the DA did. Wilmot James the Chairperson of the DA did not attend this meeting also, clearly an interesting twist. Maimane we can assume did not attend because Zille did not want be seen to overtly anoint her successor, or to compromise Maimane’s candidacy hence he it is claimed did not know (politics). James was not invited because he stands on the other side of Zille’s prism and therefore not one to be trusted. This meeting results in the hastily convened press statement, which came with a cocktail of tears and emotions.


Shortly after this the public is introduced to the candidacy of a Mmusi Maimane who last weekend did not know if was going to stand or not, seemingly all of sudden confirms his readiness to stand. It is a given that Maimane has Zille’s blessing to lead the Democratic Alliance, we hear of rumours of a potential candidacy of Dr. Wilmot James but I dare assert of this nothing will come.


Mmusi Maimane whom many have already called ‘Mr. Obama’ in imitation will become the first black leader of the DA come the hour. The fervour with which he bestowed honour to a Zille bordered on the praise singing of an imbongi, yet that is all scripted because the SA-Obama project is unfolding.


Whilst this is a given, I will postulate that the decision for Helen Zille to step down does not simply attests local or domestic politics at play, but a serious global hand evidenced in the USA. Was Helen Zille told by the funders, its time you shift, and that time is now, and you will find a ‘black’ young leader because it is in the interest of some that the ANC is truly challenged with the view of unseating it in elections. There is no question that the funders for whatever reason are not in concert with an ANC leadership but tolerates it until it can produce what it believes is the correct formula to secure a victory in national polls. Whether this will work is yet to be discovered.


My premise for this is borne out in the building of a profile of a Mmusi Maimane, whose candidacy for a Gauteng Elections had a R120milion tag to it. Another reason why Mmusi and not a Lindiwe Mazibuko is to be that face is the reality of our politics of male dominance as often understood from a cultural context as acceptable with even the ANC Women’s league proving soft in aggression for a woman candidacy. The Gauteng elections contest was to be the springboard for catapulting Mmusi Maimane into relevance and place of prominence in the DA, which it is hoped is only a mid-stop to a possible presidency of SA. We must also calmly asked if the woman led move of a DA immanent in Helen Zille, Patricia De Lille and Lindiwe Mazibuko really had meaning for women advancement in the political economy. Close examination appears to suggest not.


We can also accept that Zille’s attempt at securing a parachuted ‘black’ face for the 2014 National Elections in a Mamphela Ramphele was not as innocent and stupid as is advanced but again a means by which the DA sought to adapt to the new reality of which I claim they are directed to go perhaps less by locals ( the true constituency of the DA) but by funders local and abroad.


There is another dimension I wish to add here, just as much as a Bobby Kennedy back in 1963 could predict or, as I would like to believe, orchestrate a future Obama presidency so we can confirm that Hillary Clinton will become the 45th President of the USA come 2016. It does not take rocket science to appreciate the hegemony of male dominance of politics as evidenced in the local USA and world contexts. Thus, it would have been more palatable for a black male (provided he is of certain standing) to surge in ascendance of political power ahead of a white female presidency.


Back to Maimane’s candidacy, Is it possible that in South Africa with its more progressive constitution and its need to show the world that it produced its first ‘white’ female opposition leader (Zille), the SA opposition proved more racial than the USA who in my assessment proved more chauvinistic in an Obama Election victory.


By the same token we may also ask if reverse of that male hegemony in party politics in the Democratic Party of a Tony Leon leadership, whilst confronted with the reality of a need to change to a black leadership, instead argued back then already we will rather have a female ‘white’ leader before we have a ‘black’ leader.


It is water under the bridge now that history finally caught up with the conservative Democratic Party (the enclave and hide out of all former National Party and Conservative Party members) who despite becoming a Democratic Alliance never shed its true identity of conservatism. The DA remains a party with an androgynous ideological definition, for it is made up of Afrikaner and English conservatives in claim of liberalism. In this season, it has secured a growing black voter base who does not necessarily understand this ideological challenge, but who is tired or angry with an ANC that it claims has failed.


Therefore, whilst the nominations and candidacy of the DA’s future leadership dynamics are unfolding and the proverbial taste of a black leader in a conservative setting though claimed as liberal, is proving not palatable for the majority of real DA supporters, the efficacy of holding on to the white dominance confirms an eternal description of a white party as opposition and not in line with the demanded dictate of those who truly control the future of the DA. That control plausibly may have a foreign funder hand.


In an earlier piece I wrote title ‘Steve Hofmeyr the evidence of the crisis of the Afrikaner Political Leadership’, I advanced the notion that the Afrikaner intelligentsia has never been able to accept its new position of opposition; it thus has a stubborn reluctance to participate in the design of the new democratic era. I argued the Afrikaner intelligentsia pins its hopes on a South Africa in failure, from this prims of a will and must fail, it readies itself to govern again once the failure is accepted as evident. This latter thought is what makes them not to participate meaningfully to contribute from its resources and skills, because its divestment in the democratic SA it its investment in a future rulership.


I now seek to extend the boundaries of this Afrikaner claim in saying the DA (who represents the earlier mentioned conservative Afrikaner and English voter-constituency) has made a calculated choice that it will never persuade SA voters to accept its vision unless it has a black face hence the choice of a Maimane. He now becomes the means to legitimise itself as a black party, sensitive to the critical dimension of youth role with the hope of governance less from a liberal but a conservative notion, which is in-sink with the Afrikaner aim, as advised by the  funders.


Maimane fits this paradigm as an educated, young leader, not ANC aligned, and who imbibes DA policy in all its facets. He is articulate as one who epitomises the new ‘race-free’ South Africa whose personal family attests this reality. He bridges the gap and is that male figure that feeds the paradigm of a not yet ready SA to be governed by a woman.


Maimane therefore is the project – Obama in the DA context, he will lead it, because upon him the hopes of a ANC unseating is placed, as carefully selected by those across the big waters less by those in domestic DA context who may prove dinosauric for finding a black leader acceptable even in 21 years after the advent of democracy. They will die a natural political death because their irrelevance in frozen paradigm is not congruent with this moment as determined by the funders of the DA and those who have an interest to see the ANC unseated.


I am afraid it is not as simple as it appears, I am afraid his candidacy was not his neither was it Zille’s but the funders who have deep pockets who read the times and like Kennedy in 1963 can correctly predict or orchestrate an outcome such as an Obama presidency so in this season Maimane is making history to become the first black leader of a white party with the hope of influencing the future elections.


I will also attempt to argue in a later piece that this is significant because it must mean in be seen as positive the interest of the national agenda. A shift to a middle ground from the SA Opposition party is necessary, hence a ‘black’ leader be it Mmusi Maimane or Wilmot James may be that bridge for that ideological shift. The ANC itself has to shift, though its closer to the middle ground than the Opposition Party. It is my view that Wilmot James will push more for this ideological shift than a Maimane. Thus if the DA elects a Maimane the shift will be slower because he does not naturally represent in ideology.


In conclusion, it remains my submission Helen Zille never stepped aside as a gesture of her own goodwill, but she was instructed to do what she did, by those before whom she bows.


The choice of Maimane is not that of the DA voters constituency, they too had not any say in it, equally it’s not Maimane’s choice he finds himself almost prophesied no rather orchestrated as the right man in the right place at the right time with the right profile.


Clyde N. S. Ramalaine

Political Commentator