A Public Representative resigned from the DA. So what?

Helen Zille |

05 August 2022

Helen Zille writes on the double-standards most of the media continue to apply to the official opposition

A Public Representative resigned from the DA. So What?

A political party is a voluntary association of people who (despite their many differences) come together to advance certain values that underpin policies they believe will be in the best interests of the country.

In a voluntary association, people can come and go as they like, and they do, for a host of reasons.

It is so normal that it almost never makes news.

Unless, of course, the party involved happens to be the DA, and a departing public representative happens to be black. Then they become an overnight celebrity and are elevated, retrospectively, to a position of “senior leadership” in the party (which is rarely the case).

These news items tell you more about the state of the media than they do about the DA.


Most of all, they illustrate the double-standards most of the media apply to the DA.

For example, over the past year, ActionSA has lost double the number of “senior black leaders” (six) in comparison to the DA (three). What’s more, most of the ActionSA’s ex-leaders were “purged”, unlike the DA’s representatives who voluntarily moved on.

Another example: the ANC, once a non-racial party, still uses the term to describe itself, but would battle to produce the evidence. It is almost entirely a uniracial party today — a transition that has happened without media commentary of which I am aware.

In fact, most South Africans would be hard-pressed to name a single white person in the ANC, apart from Carl Niehaus (and, goodness knows, the ANC has been trying hard to expel him too).