Idea of these two cosying up to each other obnoxious 

How would African ancestors, our forebears, judge us as black people if we were to support former oppressors to win the May 29 general election? 

If this were to be the case, the rhetorical question would return an answer that is unpleasant, causing African primogenitors to look askance with doubt if black South Africans are worthy of anything that is of substance. 

White domination, and the laws colonial and apartheid regimes imposed on black people have been oppressive, and this subjugation has lasted for nearly 400 years, and its residue continues to be felt to this day. 

Two weeks ago, DA leader John Steenhuisen justified his party’s posture towards the advertisement in which his party burned the country’s sacred flag. 

Such an act is sacrilegious; it says something profoundly problematic about the DA, its leadership, and how it relates to the new democratic order. 

To get to the nub of the argument, we need to have an open conversation about the unpatriotic stance the DA has adopted towards black-led governance, led by a democratically elected ANC government. 

Last week, in a TV interview, Steenhuisen described the leadership of the governing party as “amasela” – a derogatory isiXhosa expression, which, when translated, means the ANC is an organisation of thieves. 

The DA is the opposition. It is entitled to criticise the government as much as it wishes, but what the party is not entitled to do is to ascribe unfounded claims of impropriety on the leadership of the governing party. To suggest – in a public platform – that President Cyril Ramaphosa is a thief, is not a fair comment. 

This is not surprising: the DA continues to harbour a racist attitude towards black people. 

Let us examine the motive behind the establishment of the Moonshot Pact, and what its objectives are. 

The Moonshot Pact consists of various political groupings including ActionSA, IFP, Freedom Front Plus, United Independent Movement, Spectrum National Party and the Independent South African National Civic Organisation. 

Let us also examine the tenor of language around which this plan is conceived.  

The DA sees itself as a messiah to save this country. A messiah, in a biblical sense, is often accompanied by angels, metaphorically playing a subsidiary role around the messianic “superstar” mission. 

In this context, the “superstar” is Steenhuisen, and the angels, who play a minor role, are political parties whose role is to bolster the DA to unseat the ANC.  

When Steenhuisen has articulated the vision of his party as “to rescue the country at the 2024 election where we achieve a giant leap forward by removing the ANC from power and replacing it with a new pact government composed of like-minded opposition parties”. 

It is within this context that the DA must be seen as the makhulu baas of the Moonshot Pact.  

To complete the thought, there have been talk in ANC circles that in the event of the party failing to acquire more than 50% of the vote in the elections on Wednesday, some within the party would push for a coalition government with the DA. 

But many within the ANC feel the DA would be an obnoxious partner, going against the grain of what the ANC stands for and instead more inclined to right-wing policies. 

DA overtly supports Israel’s sledgehammer cause, for which its Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is to be indicted by the International Criminal Court (ICC), charging him and others in his camp with war crimes. 

Our government has taken the Israeli government to the ICJ for the Gaza atrocities, a move the DA opposes. 

The DA has also bizarrely, but perhaps not surprisingly, not taken a firm stance against the secessionists who want to turn Western Cape into a white enclave independent of SA. 

The clarion call among many within the ANC is that in the event of a political stalemate after the election, it would be better for the ANC to turn to EFF, or even MK Party, or other parties with liberation struggle history, to form a government of national unity. 

To go to bed with the DA, would smudge the ANC’s political image, supping with the devil for political expedience. 


  • Mdhlela is an Anglican priest, ex-trade unionist, and former editor of South African Human Rights Commission journals

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