“The people will do as I say”

How DA arrogance undermines and subverts

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Drewan Baird. Oudtshoorn. 30 January 2014. 04h30. Much will be continued to be said about this DA-Agang “merger”.

O!O defers to the opinions of the professional journalists and political commentators – daai manne en vroue met die dik brille, die gerusstellende stemme en die redelike lyftaal.

But in the Eden and Oudtshoorn context I am reminded of the words of Patricia de Lille, in the days leading up to the Oudtshoorn by-elections of October 2010 when now executive mayor Gordon April and turned again councillor Jurie Harmse won the council for the ANC after abandoning the then Independent Democrats…

During an interview with De Lille at the time I suggested that the best fit strategy might have been to fight at least the Dysselsdorp ward under the orange ID banner because the ID supporters might not have been ready to vote DA.

Replied De Lille, “The people will do as I say.”

This is high Apartheid rhetoric. It is insulting. It vitiates. It is archaic. It is unbelievably stupid. It works not. It is ineffective and inefficient. It is counter productive. It is incredibly dumb. It is vintage DA.

The “new look” DA lost both wards and the rest is history.

The DA-ID merger birthed nothing for the DA but perhaps a few Western and Northern Cape votes. It landed the DA with baggage, in Eden, such as Wessie van der Westhuizen and Charles Standers.

Patricia was in dire financial straits and the DA bought at bargain basement rates and still got a dud for its buck.

Mamphela Ramphele was (is?) also in a financial fix. The DA swooped.

In the aftermath of the public display of affection, complete with kisses and hugs and smiles that failed to communicate the victory claimed by all, it appears as if Ramphele sold something she did not own.

But the pundits can earn appearance fees on this meal ticket for the weeks to come. I simply state that De Lille’s October 2010 “the people will do as I say” reverberates in the latest deflowering.

In my opinion; in my considered opinion, this DA and Agang “merger” is a political blunder of the first water. DA blunders surprise me not. I happen to think that the DA has suspect strategic ability. The Oudtshoorn political management fiasco confirms this conviction.

What will the Ramphele visage on the blue posters deliver?

I spoke to a successful local businessman yesterday who made the quite logical observation that he would be inclined to vote DA because Ramphele makes for better presidential material than Jacob Zuma.

Ye gods and faeries, most anybody does!

The DA will certainly muster many thousands like votes – like my friend’s vote.

But these votes will not be Agang votes; they’ll be (yet again) anti Zuma votes. And this had been mostly discounted already.

Agang supporters are probably – probably! – now even further from the DA than they already were before their leader abandoned their false hope she instilled over the last few months.

People who would have voted against the ANC and not for the DA would probably have voted Agang. The sum of the DA and Agang parts after the elections would have been considerably higher than the “Dagang” votes expected now.

Dumb move Helen. Dumb move, babe. Business 101. Refer the Chrysler – Daimler merger.


Yeah. It refers to my statement on the “Biko Babes”: Coming to a polling booth near you soon: Biko’s Babes… he covered one; one covered him. He didn’t make it. Will we!?

Babes in the woods.

Me calling the DA leadership babes in the woods is arrogant even by my high standard. But consider the facts.

A significant core of the current DA leadership bears a legacy of being outfoxed by the Nats for years and years and years: The PP; the PFP; the DP; The labour party; the Tri-cameral puppets could not rattle the Nats.

Another contingent bears the legacy of those selfsame Nats who were outsmarted by the ANC.

These are huge and dark shadows, I’ll have you know.

They are easily bested are the DA leaders. I give you Oudtshoorn.

Until there is an alternative to the ANC, the ANC will govern. It will govern well, less well, and badly. But it will govern. That is the reality that face us. Let’s work it.

Click here for a xyresic opinion piece by Haji Mohamed Dawjee – Zille and Ramphele: A marriage of inconvenience… “Let us not to the marriage of true minds admit impediments”, wrote Shakespeare. But when it comes to the marriage between Agang SA and the Democratic Alliance (DA) … let’s.

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2 thoughts on ““The people will do as I say”

  1. Mamphela Ramphele: The DA decides to blow itself up

    RW Johnson

    30 January 2014

    RW Johnson on Helen Zille’s monumental foolishness in trying to anoint the Agang SA leader as her successor

    Almost exactly a year ago I wrote that Mamphela Ramphele’s entrance onto the political scene was “an accident waiting to happen”. She was, I suggested, “a political naif” and added that “It goes without saying that a political party launched by such a person has a very short life expectancy”. Surveying the wreckage of Ramphele’s several failed careers I observed that “Helen Zille’s attempts to invite (Ramphele) into the DA leadership appear quixotic, even suicidal”. This has now all come to pass. This was a very good day’s work for the ANC for in effect the DA, the main Opposition, has decided to blow itself up.

    During the disastrous four years that Ramphele served as UCT’s Vice-Chancellor, Wilmot James was appointed to merge the Arts and Social Science faculties and Ms. Zille served as Ramphele’s press secretary and PR lady. Ramphele was described by her subordinates as arrogant, egocentric and autocratic, while Dr James’s efforts ended with a shambles so complete that it terminated his career at UCT. This period is generally reckoned to have set UCT back for many years. Now, in effect, Helen Zille has decided to revive this team-from-hell at the top of the DA. No one can say that she didn’t know what she was doing or that we have not been warned.

    Dr Ramphele had had many backers for the UCT job. They felt severely let down when she left so soon and amidst such a mess. Simultaneously, as chairperson of the Independent Development Trust, she handed the whole organization over to the ANC government. Again, this meant that Dr Ramphele let down all those at the IDT who had trusted her. The IDT still had billions of rands at the bank but these were all expropriated by government and the IDT’s Trustees and many of the staff lost their jobs.

    Dr Ramphele then moved on to the World Bank – as always, she had many backers suggesting she was just what the Bank needed. This too was not a success and her backers were disappointed when her contract was not renewed after one term.

    There then followed a comic opera when Dr Ramphele gave an interview to the Cape Times saying she had applied for the Vice Chancellorship of Oxford University but had, as yet, heard nothing back. The paper rang the Oxford authorities who said, yes, the election of a vice-chancellor was under way and some candidates had already been interviewed. The Cape Times ran the story under the headline “Mamphela to head Oxford university?”, though really it should have been “Mamphela fails to make short-list”, for that was obviously what had happened.

    The interesting thing about this was that Dr Ramphele, having no shortage of self-belief, had decided it was time for her to move into the academic big league without, apparently, realising that her brief stints at UCT and the World Bank had not been a success and that Oxford was bound to discover that with a few phone calls.

    She returned to South Africa where her usual backers – they are strange, politically correct folk who never learn to be disillusioned – convinced the powers that be that she was just what was needed for the board of Anglo-American and to be chair of Gold Fields. This ended up with the most disgraceful BEE transaction the country has seen – so bad that it is being investigated by the US Securities and Exchange Commission. Dr Ramphele insists the deal was nothing to do with her – weirdly, for it was finalised on her watch.

    The kindest verdict I could come up with a year ago was that Dr Ramphele had just been comprehensively out of her depth throughout this bizarre rake’s progress. It rather puts one in mind of Hillaire Belloc’s little Lord Lundy who, because of his aristocratic antecedents, is immediately put into the Cabinet at 26. Sadly, he is just not up to it –

    “They let him sink from Post to Post
    From fifteen hundred at the most
    To eight, and barely six – and then
    To be curator of Big Ben.”

    This ignominy enrages his grand-father, the Duke, who reprimands him indignantly –

    “Sir ! You have disappointed us !
    We had intended you to be
    The next prime minister but three:
    The stocks were sold; the Press was squared:
    The Middle Class was quite prepared.
    But as it is! ….My language fails!
    Go out and govern New South Wales!”

    In Ramphele’s case the last act of all was not New South Wales but the sad squib, Agang. It was never more than a vehicle for her ego and her party workers were treated like serfs. The party established few branches, failed to hold an elective conference or a list conference or even draw up a manifesto. Ramphele, who is herself something of a policy-free zone, simply ignored such matters because the main thing about her party was, well, herself. She raised R50 million, mainly from foreign backers, quickly got through it, decided she needed at least another R200 million, failed to get it, did not pay party workers and it became clear that Agang was bankrupt and was not even going to make the starting post for the coming election.

    In a fashion which should surprise no one who has followed her career, Ramphele then let her party workers down, negotiated with the DA with no mandate from them, and simply sold them down the river. She also let down the people who had so recently opened their wallets for her. The message that this now sends to DA donors is ominous and, indeed, it is difficult to see how the party can allow Ramphele to have anything to do with fund-raising. How could she explain to donors that she has just wasted R50m. of their money on a whim, thrown in the towel without consultation, but would now like a whole lot more?By making Ramphele head of the DA list and the party’s presidential candidate, Helen Zille is in effect attempting to choose her own successor. Given that Ramphele has never been held democratically accountable, never been a team player, never displayed liberal principles, and has let people down throughout her career it seems all but certain that her accession to the DA leadership would soon demoralise and probably split the party.

    On the very day of the announcement that Ramphele was joining the DA she was asked about her plans for the party. Oh no, she said, it wasn’t about the party: “My job, as a leader, is to inspire people.” There you have it – she will be out front doing whatever she wants to do and the job of the voters and party members is to be inspired, and well, to adore her. No room here for policy, for democratic accountability, for having to do what the party conference decides or anything of that sort.

    So why on earth should Helen Zille do such a thing? In effect, she seems to have boxed herself in in several ways, beginning with the fact that she is fundamentally a local politician, the summit of whose aspirations is to be premier of the Western Cape, so that the party leadership is something she would like to jettison as soon as possible.

    Second, she has from the first tried to accelerate the progress of the DA, setting unrealistically ambitious targets. The DA will be in power in 2019. The DA will get 30% of the vote. It will win Gauteng and perhaps another new province too. Etc. All of this is fanciful and way beyond the party’s realistic reach. However, since it is assumed that the key to the party’s growth is winning over more black voters, she has publicly promised that the next DA leader will be black.

    This, in three different ways, was a grievous mistake. First, in a democratic party it is simply not up to her to choose the next leader. Slabbert did not choose Eglin; Eglin did not choose Leon; Leon did not choose Zille. Second, she thereby accepted the ANC logic that skin colour is the all-important thing. This assumption has no place in a liberal party. Third, she made the (ridiculous) assumption that a black leader would bring a flood of black support. If that were true Buthelezi, Lekota and Holomisa would now be leading very big parties. In fact all the DA’s progress since 1994 has been achieved under white leaders and everything suggests that the party would gradually add more black voters under either a white or black leader – provided that that leader can hold the party together and keep it a party of liberal and democratic principle. There may even be a positive side to the leader being white. One notes how African, Coloured and Indian parents are eager that their children should attend formerly white schools – it is seen as a guarantee of quality – and also how, for the same reason, they do not want the whites to abandon the school to them: the ideal is to be racially diverseand keep the whites involved. Parties may be the same.

    However, having added 2 +2 and come up with 7, the next step in Zille’s logic was to go in for the accelerated promotion of young blacks in the party, most notably Lindiwe Mazibuko and Mmusi Maimane. This deliberately ignored experience in other walks of life that you can’t “fast track” human development in that way. If you promote a bright young black academic to be a professor at 28, he has little experience of lecturing, research or administration and he is bound to fail, lose the respect of his peers and so forth.

    There simply isn’t any substitute, in any job, for the hard slog of experience, for getting the help of one’s elders and betters, for extensive reading and so on. It is simply not fair to expect that either Maimane or Mazibuko could cut it as leader any time soon, and it has been a very doubtful favour to them to over-promote them while young, as opposed to letting them win their spurs.

    Now, however, Zille faces a situation in which Maimane, with his praise for Mbeki, his bodyguards and his belief that large and expensive celebrations are necessary to African-ness, is beginning to look like a serious liability. Simultaneously, Zille has quarrelled bitterly with Mazibuko. So, she needs a somewhat more mature and black woman (it has to be a woman: Zille, De Lille, Mazibuko, Ramphele – Zille just seems more comfortable with other women). And so, hey presto, she offers the DA leadership to Ramphele not just once but repeatedly, even after Ramphele has made absurd demands like the dissolution of the DA – and all without any democratic process at all.

    The plan, quite obviously, is to cue Ramphele up – list leader, presidential candidate – so that she is a shoo-in for leader, the leadership to be handed over as soon as possible after the election. It is bizarre: the party is to be handed over to an imperious and egocentric woman of 67 with no record of DA membership, no discernible liberal principles and no experience of democratic accountability.

    The big question is whether the party will really accept this monumental foolishness. It must, surely, be obvious to many within the DA ranks that disaster this way looms. However, the first rule of politics is that you can’t beat someone with no one, so if they wish to avoid Ramphele and to demand a properly democratic leadership election. Mazibuko is undoubtedly able but still too young and inexperienced.

    The most skilful DA parliamentarian is David Maynier but he is both white and young. Maimane disqualifies himself. There is no other commanding figure. One is left with the thought that the safest pair of hands belongs to Atholl Trollip. He has already been leader of the parliamentary party and is leader of the Eastern Cape. He speaks fluent Xhosa and Afrikaans as well as English. He is an affable and likable man.

    One would not expect fireworks from him but he would keep the party together and hand it over, somewhat enlargened, to his successor in five or six years’ time. This may not be as exciting as picking a really dangerous candidate but, to quote another children’s rhyme

    “And always keep a hold on nurse
    For fear of finding something worse.”


    Zille hates RW Johnson. There’s something really lekker about him peering over this entire mess, which he predicted in detail, and writing her political obituary. Made me laugh out loud.

    Zille should realise she’s taken the party as far as she . .more
    by  on January 30 2014, 10:12
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    My crystal ball tells me that the DA will disappear before 2019 rolls around. And that’s being generous time-wise. 

    by  on January 30 2014, 10:18
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    Why is it that the ANC has all the inspired and gourmand crooks that can conceive and stick to policies ( even if they are the economic equivalent of a nuclear fission bomb) and the DA has a bunch of retards that couldn’t recognise a policy or a straight . .more
    by  on January 30 2014, 10:34
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    1994, 1%; 1999, 9%; 2004, 12%; 2009, 16%; 2011, 24%; 2014 – we don’t know. But you see the trend here, right? South Africa has a two party system now. To say the DA has blown itself up, or that it will disappear is just nonsense. Don’t try and fit the . .more
    by  on January 30 2014, 10:39
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    You can’t compare a municipal election with a national election. Measuring on growth alone, is also wrong, we don’t rate Suzman on growth, we rate her on her principles and the fact she didn’t take any expedient choice and grasp for growth above . .more
    by  on January 30 2014, 10:56
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    I regret ever voting DA under the Zille leadership. She has proven that she is no democrat and has run the DA like a personal family business elevating her friends to high positions in the party.

    She clearly has an anti-white male bias as RW . .more
    by  on January 30 2014, 11:11
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    Well Johnson shows his true colours again. The “most skilful” politician is another White male. Wonder how many of the others he even knows. His “commentary” is laughable. He would love to see Zille fail but he won’t. Wish he would just go and retire . .more
    by  on January 30 2014, 11:17
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    “One notes how African, Coloured and Indian parents are eager that their children should attend formerly white schools – it is seen as a guarantee of quality… .”

    It is not whiteness that guarantees quality. It is only when black parents see the . .more
    by  on January 30 2014, 11:24
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    I cannot agree with the idea of disbanding the DA and getting a new name. The political party spent 13 years building a brand, building a reputation that is good, printing so many banners, creating marketing material, spending so . .more
    by  on January 30 2014, 11:52
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    Johnson’s point about a looming disaster looks a distinct possibility. We don’t actually know how good Trollip is, I agree with you there. That’s because Zille has assembled around her only those that support her, and those too young to challenge her. . .more
    by  on January 30 2014, 12:06
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    The old curmudgeon must still be nursing his wounded ego from when Zille and Wilmot James stuck it to him last year. How else do you explain his double standards? When Bill’s friend, Tony Leon, struck a deal with the NP that gave Marthinus Van Schalkwyk . .more
    by  on January 30 2014, 12:11
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    The DP and NNP formed an alliance after the 1999 election. Not 3 months beforehand, with seemingly nothing agreed. Other than Ramphele will somehow become the DA presidential candidate, be first on the DA national list, and be the face on the ballot for . .more
    by  on January 30 2014, 12:26
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    Sadly this makes for very compelling reading. I have absolutely no time for MR and she should have been allowed to fade into well deserved obscurity where she belongs. The manner in which she has dumped all the folks who rallied around her in Agang should . .more
    by  on January 30 2014, 12:28
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    I hope Dr Wilmot James sues the pants off R W Johnson. By the way, veteran journalist and political commentator Allister Sparks has a completely different view.

    by  on January 30 2014, 12:36
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    I cannot , for the life of me , understand why white people allow Zille to dictate so much to them. She is destroying their white party. I suppose she is truly African – becoming the first white despot of the continent. We have lots of them but none were . .more
    by  on January 30 2014, 12:38
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    As someone who has respected Helen Zille’s tenacity and tireless hard work, it is uncomfortable reading these hard truths so eloquently arrayed by RW Johnson.
    Helen Zille can however redeem herself by revisiting her decisions with the full involvement . .more
    by  on January 30 2014, 12:42
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    Well said……but she will not listen

    by  on January 30 2014, 12:54
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    This is article is boring, not insightful. you sir are just grumpy!!!

    by  on January 30 2014, 12:54
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    It really is too much to expect any integrity or moral backbone from politicians 

    Hmm…. RW’s comments are not out of line, my very favorite journalist, David Gleason from the Business Day, wrote an excellent piece on . .more
    by  on January 30 2014, 13:16
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    @Graham: Policies favoured by the DA hardly originate in a “traditional libertarian mandate”. The party’s DNA — per Helen Suzman — was liberal in a solidly social democratic way. Current policy ideas remain largely that. 
    Further, for those of us . .more
    by  on January 30 2014, 13:25
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    R.V. Johnson as an ‘old timer’ you should know better.Your anti Zille/ Ramphele tirade is as jaundiced and one sided a piece of journalism that ever saw the light of day. In your haste to ‘klap’ the ladies you lose all sense of fair play. Lets take . .more
    by  on January 30 2014, 13:28
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    South Africa is a nation of cultists. Most DA supporters will again vote for the party because they have an attention span of 10 seconds. Heck they’ll even vote for a Stalin-like leader so long as “democratic” is used in the name of the party. Not that . .more
    by  on January 30 2014, 13:33
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    “I read the political commentators every day, but I never let them usurp my judgement, If I did, we would still be a 1.7% party”.

    Enough said,

    by  on January 30 2014, 13:33
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    elements in the DA do: They send in a woman with no real political credentials, who is not even a member of the DA, to represent them in the 2014-election.

    The recent mess regarding the BEE Amendment bill and the so-called leadership battle . .more
    by  on January 30 2014, 13:44
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    Diamond’s article (“The democratic rollback’, 1989) has shown that the dialectical transition to a liberal western democracy……is not true
    Liberation…of these countries…

    by  on January 30 2014, 13:48
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    Anti-white male you say? Are you aware that the most powerful person in the DA aside from Helen Zille, the one who chairs the Federal Congress, is James Selfe? A white male. 3 provincial leaders are white males. Clearly your comment is nonsense.

    by  on January 30 2014, 13:58
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    I agree

    Most white people don’t even know what real democracy means. The tend to talk down on ‘stupid black” ANC members.

    In the mean time they (white people and ‘liberals”) vote for a 3rd world party in-waiting with 3rd world logic. . .more
    by  on January 30 2014, 14:01
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    “Never voting DA again” is right although he exaggerated a bit. The truth is however that the DA will change more and more….

    by  on January 30 2014, 14:08
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    Yes, enough said, she takes credit for Leon’s work without mentioning him ever.

    The DA won 16.3% of the national PR vote in the 2006 municipal elections. Zille became leader in 2007.

    In the 2009 national election, which was mostly riding . .more
    by  on January 30 2014, 14:15
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    “The party’s DNA — per Helen Suzman — was liberal in a solidly social democratic way. Current policy ideas remain largely that”.

    Other than Suzman profoundly disagreeing with some central DA policies. She called BEE anti-white and racist, and . .more
    by  on January 30 2014, 14:19
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    The DA is not the conservative party, that can maintain it’s racial segregation.. It’s the one party with enough clout to dethrone the corrupt ANC.

    In a political battle, in order to reach the 95% majority population it was a natural decision to . .more
    by  on January 30 2014, 14:20
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    HZ is no different for JZ in that she is surrounding herself with Yes- men/woman,completely ignored internal democracy with this DA/Agang issue, and is building a party based on personalities not policies.

    by  on January 30 2014, 14:32
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    “You and Anon make a good pair considering his blind acceptance of everything you said as being the gospel.truth.”

    I don’t accept everything in the article. I don’t accept the schools analogy as Lwi pointed out. And I don’t accept Trollip is the . .more
    by  on January 30 2014, 14:34
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    The interesting thing about Silly Zilly is that she is a closet Black Consciousness bloody agent. Who was the journalist who exposed the Biko, the orginal Black Consciousness leader’s case? Zille. Who is now mayor of Cape Town? Former Black Consciousness . .more
    by  on January 30 2014, 14:35
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    One tends to forget that…

    by  on January 30 2014, 14:52
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    You make some good points in there. Where it falls down, is thinking you can just stick any personality in, and the whole thing will hold together long term. It’s not disagreeing with a black leader (well not from me), it’s disagreeing that someone who . .more
    by  on January 30 2014, 15:07
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    ….if “white English speaking DA members are an issue” for you then maybe it is time we vote you out of business once and for all. Clearly black voters have not taken you very seriously, so maybe white voters treat you in a similar fashion.

    Care . .more
    by  on January 30 2014, 15:21
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    As a fan of Johnson’s writings, this vicious, petty article saddened me.

    The DA and its antecedents has always mixed pragmatism & principle. This lead to its 1959 splintering from the UP over their racism; it also lead to a “qualified franchise” . .more
    by  on January 30 2014, 15:23
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    I hear you but desperate times call for desperate measures. We have reached crossroads in SA. Either we make it or decline.

    by  on January 30 2014, 15:32
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    Her academic books received poor reviews.

    by  on January 30 2014, 15:42
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    I agree that Ramphele is a surprise choice for the position but having followed Agang I also believe they stand for a great deal of the ideals of the DA. The primary ideal being they want the ANC out of power and understand that a partnership could prove . .more
    by  on January 30 2014, 15:56
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    “’embracing racial nationalism, means losing this support base’ is ridiculous.
    By this statement you imply that all whites, coloureds and indians oppose racial integration!”

    No. That’s not what I meant. I mean if the DA becomes a party for . .more
    by  on January 30 2014, 16:20
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    “The DA said they supported BEE that creates jobs not millionaires. Now they have a BEE millionaire as their presidential candidate.”

    ……..And Ramphele also admitted that she “benefited from BEE”

    by  on January 30 2014, 16:43
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    Plenty of home truths in the article mixed in with a few short stabs with a pointed stick…

    by  on January 30 2014, 17:22
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    by  on January 30 2014, 17:52
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    🙂 I’m the original…you copy me I do not copy you…

    by  on January 30 2014, 18:00
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    I thank RW Johnson for shattering my desperate hopes for a Ramphele-led reversal of South Africa’s self-destruction.

    Perhaps seasoned “philosopher” journalists like Brendan Ryan and Donwald Pressly can help to salvage the DA. Somehow I can’t see . .more
    by  on January 30 2014, 18:26
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    Having Ramphele as the presidential candidate, blows out of the water the argument the ANC just love, that the DA is a “White” party. It will send a strong signal to the uneducated black skined voters who still think the DA want to bring apartheid . .more
    by  on January 30 2014, 20:02
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    Even during apartheid there were plenty of blacks willing to be ‘leaders’ of “homelands” and receive “allowances”. Who is to say you cannot find the same kind of person today?

    by  on January 30 2014, 20:27
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    “Having Ramphele as the presidential candidate, blows out of the water the argument the ANC just love, that the DA is a “White” party. It will send a strong signal to the uneducated black skined voters who still think the DA want to bring apartheid . .more
    by  on January 30 2014, 21:00
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    Well said, RW!
    What will add to DA’s problems, is the imminent collapse of COPE and UDM into the DA. 
    Can you imagine this so-called Maphela working closely with Terror Lekota and General Holomisa! That New DA would collapse within 48 hours of . .more
    by  on January 30 2014, 21:44
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    There is nothing wrong with developing black “talent”, after all even the ANC does it and the DA has been doing it. It would be politically useful if the DA had a black leader. The problem with this move, is that their nominee hardly qualifies as . .more
    by  on January 30 2014, 21:51
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    Looking back , it has become obvious to me that the ignorant masses can’t tell the difference between fame and notoriety. As long as one does something to draw attention to oneself, chances are people will forget the facts and just remember the person as . .more
    by  on January 30 2014, 22:14
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    So what happened to the millions of Rands/Dollars which she begged from the Americans?

    She destroyed many institutions, organisation, used up all the funds from the Americans and know she serves as the “presidential candidate” for the DA after . .more
    by  on January 30 2014, 22:22
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    If I was Bullard I would have ANC colours ready to run up the flagpole when the ANC gets elected at the regional WC elections…

    by  on January 30 2014, 22:28
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    What a come down for the DA to have recruited Dr Ramphele.

    by  on January 30 2014, 22:28
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    She is long past her sell by date and has been promoted to the classic level of incompetence. Her ego is massive. If only she would go with Zuma to some nice retirement home.

    by  on January 30 2014, 22:50
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    Yes, many DA cultists believe that they will run the WC forever. The ANC will make a comeback in the WC.

    I am on record for being fiercely nationalistic, democratic, libertarian and federalist and I hate the ANC even more than the DA. The problem . .more
    by  on January 30 2014, 23:00
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    Strong words, RWJ. Strong words. SA is a laboratory test case for political correctness within every public institution, from the most left-wing through high-minded liberal to conservative, and there’ve been mammoth messes throughout – the late Kader . .more
    by  on January 30 2014, 23:17
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    The liberal delusion: race is just a “social construct”.
    The liberal dream: whites, blacks, browns, yellows, etc all become Westernised and accept Western norms and standards, although these norms and standards are packaged as if they were . .more
    by  on January 31 2014, 00:11
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    The actions & decisions of the Zille has been despotic, Like Zuma she too has surrounded herself with friends & allies. The 2011 elections was in DA favour because so many people chose not to vote. She hasn’t grown the powerful party created by powerful . .more
    by  on January 31 2014, 00:56
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    Not to mention “liberalism” meant attacks on the Catholic faith in Germany, Austria, Switzerland and Italy during the 19th century.

    19th century liberalism in Central America meant the privatisation of lands belonging not only to the Church, but . .more
    by  on January 31 2014, 02:37
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    All very well disparaging the appointment of Ramphele but consider the alternative.By alternative we mean ANC and their appointments-McBride,etc.not counting the other messy people such as Pule,Yengeni,Joemat Peterson and countless others.At least the DA . .more
    by  on January 31 2014, 02:42
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    The DA subsumed nearly all strands of “white South Africa” – liberals, Sappes, Jingoes, Verligtes – save for the Verkramptes whose lineal successor is the FF+. The NP, having long diluted its racialist and ethnicist character, began a drive into the . .more
    by  on January 31 2014, 03:10
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    I respect Helen Zille and her drive to meet her 2019 targets, I do think it came late but maybe it’s not a bad thing either. Reality is that DA needs numbers and those are either in black or coloured communities… If the ANC ‘s strength is “historical . .more
    by  on January 31 2014, 05:50
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    Africa, like the Arab World, is a society where tribal affiliation overrides all other loyalties. This is a product of the environment, irrespective of race. Therefore to be able to govern you must piece together a coalition of various groups – get the . .more
    by  on January 31 2014, 06:49
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    This is not a perfect world and there are no perfect people. 
    The article is good and detailed. What is needed in SA however at this point is to change the perception of race in politics, and Zille has succeeded. There was no high profile black . .more
    by  on January 31 2014, 07:06
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    “There is nothing wrong with developing black “talent”, after all even the ANC does it and the DA has been doing it.”

    Groan, I didn’t say otherwise. Ramphele isn’t “developing” anything, she’s finished product. The DA, and even some of their . .more
    by  on January 31 2014, 07:39
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    so far there has been screeds written on trying to explain why this is such a good move….yet none of it effectively counters the succinct summary of the “rent-a-black’ one-liner…the masses understand and are laughing their socks off that anyone . .more
    by  on January 31 2014, 07:41
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    I did not say or imply you did or did not, but merely expended my commentary…[sigh]

    Expanding it more…where are all the pundits to claim DA will pound the ANC at the next election? they appear to be MIA…and why did the DA not announce . .more
    by  on January 31 2014, 07:52
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    The pity is that Ramphele is unlikely to bring any significant number of voters to the party. The unethical manner in which she did this is a substantial disappointment, and her previous utterances about the DA being a white party, makes one question her . .more
    by  on January 31 2014, 08:06
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    It is very clear to me that the trend within the DA is all the way to the left. The funny thing is that so many blinded voters are holding this up as a miracle or even better as a great break through. The fact is that this Madame broke away from the ANC . .more
    by  on January 31 2014, 08:07
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    I regard Johnson as conservative but he seems to have hit nail on the head here.
    The people who don’t like his article don’t say why in any logical way. They think the % growth of DA will continue – unlikely – blacks would have to abandon ANC for this . .more
    by  on January 31 2014, 08:25
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    For the sake of argument and its a BIG IF as opposed to a small if…IF I was to considering voting DA before…then having Dr.BEE Recipient as the DA Presidential candidate would make me not vote for the DA. In fact I would not vote for her, regardless . .more
    by  on January 31 2014, 08:44
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    It is not whiteness that guarantees quality, go back to the real history, and stop being selective in remembering the legacy of apartheid. Those white schools are of better quality as a result of how apartheid was designed. They have carried on and proved . .more
    by  on January 31 2014, 08:47
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