25. Juni 2017

South African opposition party's self-amputation

In retrospect there is no doubt that Helen Zille´s tweets were imprudent and completely unnecessary. But there is equally no doubt that they were not incorrect with regard to the facts. Nor do they contain any appraisal or exculpation whatsoever of the former system of oppression as a whole. And as these comments came from a person rightly renowned as a proven anti-colonialist fiercely opposed to apartheid it appears all the more malicious to qualify them as racist, though I am fully aware that this sledgehammer argument meanwhile has become current coin in South Africa in want of logical arguments. Still, Mrs Zille has clarified her intentions and expressly apologized to everyone who might have been offended by her remarks.

Notwithstanding the Democratic Alliance (DA), led by resentful and begrudging opponents pepping up the public frenzy and in the wake of a disputable judicial process, has stripped its merited former leader of all her party functions.

This, I am convinced, is evidence of shameful inadequacy and proof of lack of self-assurance as well as common sense on behalf of the DA. Apart from the absence of Helen Zille´s experienced advice this fatal action will probably result in an inner division of the DA at a moment when strong united opposition in the political arena is more than ever needed. That is what affects the DA adversely rather than the tweets. And furthermore this inner conflict and its outward appearance can well be interpreted as weakness and soapiness towards the African National Congress (ANC), all the more so, when one of the reasons cited by the DA is that the ANC has taken advantage of those tweets against Mrs. Zille and the DA.  

As a foreigner passing considerable time in South Africa and caring for the country and its future I have had and shown a lot of sympathy for the DA. Now, being thoroughly disappointed, I am afraid I have to desist.


Guest comment by Klaus Stadtmüller