On a continent where political parties have mostly either been anti-colonial liberation movements or vehicles created to propel their leaders to power, South Africa’s Democratic Alliance has been an exception.
It is one of the few to promote a liberal agenda that espouses economic growth and reform as the best way to redress apartheid’s legacy of gross inequality.
Yet, after the resignation of its two most prominent black leaders this week, the future of South Africa’s main opposition party has been thrown into doubt.
三级成人视频First to go was Herman Mashaba, the DA’s mayor of Johannesburg, who quit in protest over the elevation of Helen Zille, a white anti-apartheid campaigner, to a senior post. Mrs Zille led the party until 2015 but has been a controversial figure. She was forced to step down from a decision-making role in the party in 2017 after issuing a tweet that questioned whether the legacy of colonialism was all bad.
Her return to the party fold has convinced some black members that the DA is returning to its origins as a white party. Shortly after Mr Mashaba quit, Mmusi Maimane, who became the DA’s first black leader when he succeeded Mrs Zille in 2015, also resigned and left the party.
Some commentators say that seeing the DA’s ructions purely through a racial lens would be a mistake.
Since the end of white minority rule, the governing African National Congress (ANC) has dominated South African politics. But after it was founded in 2003, the DA steadily increased support among both black and white voters, reaching its high point in 2014 when it secured 22 percent of the vote.
三级成人视频In May, the party fell back to 20 percent. An internal DA report found that the number of black South Africans who voted for the party had fallen for the first time.
The reasons for this are disputed. It may be that some moderate black voters drifted back to the ANC after Cyril Ramaphosa, South Africa’s president and the winner of the May election, took over from Jacob Zuma三级成人视频, his divisive and scandal-plagued predecessor.
I三级成人视频t could also be that under Mr Maimane, the DA’s policies became less easy to distinguish from those of the ANC.
三级成人视频Instead of championing economic growth, educational reform and deregulation, it tentatively embraced redistribution as an answer to racial inequality. In other words, says Peter Leon, a prominent lawyer and former leading figure in the DA, the party had become “ANC-lite”.
A三级成人视频 tricky few months ahead notwithstanding, the DA could yet reinvigorate itself by returning to its original pro-market, pro-business ideology - but its success in reaching across the racial divide is likely to depend on the colour of its next leader.
“The party is going to have to revert to its original roots but it will also have to a have a black leader,” Mr Leon said. “It’s going to look terrible if that’s not the case.”