The Democratic Alliance (DA) has slammed the Institute of Race Relations (IRR) for “deliberately and mischievously chosen to take a hostile position against the DA and four of our public representatives.”
In a statement, national DA spokesperson Solly Malatsi said the IRR had engaged in a “nefarious campaign,” after the IRR on Monday took another step to influence the direction of the DA, launching a campaign entitled #SaveTheOpposition.
This is the latest salvo in what could potentially be damaging for the DA.
It appears the battle lines have been drawn in South Africa’s second-largest party between those who are trying to return the party to its old, classic liberal values and those seeking to broaden its ideology.
The so-called ‘liberal bloc’ are said to be linked to former party leader Helen Zille, who has emerged as strong contender for the federal council chair position.
The ‘transformation camp‘ is reportedly allied to embattled party leader Mmusi Maimane, who has been at the centre of two recent controversies.
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In its statement Tuesday, the DA likened the meddling of the IRR to a form of capture.
“The Democratic Alliance has not and will never outsource its decision-making functions to outside bodies – doing so would be tantamount to capture of the organisation.”
The IRR recently published an opinion piece by its campaigns coordinator Hermann Pretorius, in which he agitated for Maimane to step down as party leader.
The IRR article sparked much controversy and criticism over the use of the term “white man.”
It called for Western Cape premier Alan Winde to replace Maimane, claiming he was leading the “winds of change” for the province and would be a more suitable leader.
Former DA leader Tony Leon, who is part of a team tasked with drafting a review report of the state of the party, has met with Maimane and also ‘requested’ that he resign his leadership post.
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