Madikizela says he was not pressured to resign DA, MEC posts
Cape Town - Former Transport and Public Works MEC Bonginkosi Madikizela said he was not pressured to resign his party post, but decided to quit out of a sense of honour.
Yesterday, Madikizela confirmed a statement by DA provincial chairperson Jaco Londt that his resignation from his post as DA provincial leader was not a result of pressure from any quarter.
Earlier, asked whether there had been an option for the party not to accept Madikizela’s resignation and come up with a different solution, Londt said: “The decision to step down was his alone, and we respect his decision and the fact that he has chosen to take the honourable route.”
As to whether the resignations of Madikizela and Health MEC Nomafrench Mbombo as the DA’s Women’s Network national leader would hurt the party’s chances in the forthcoming local government elections, Londt said: “Political parties are measured on their performance in government and whether they can take up their mandate to deliver services to the people of South Africa.
“The evidence overwhelmingly shows that where the DA governs, it governs with distinction. Out of all municipalities in the country, the top five municipalities are all within the Western Cape and are run by DA governments. And this is what we offer to voters.”
Commenting on the possibility of more resignations from the DA, political analyst Ralph Mathekga said: “Losing two senior members, Madikizela and Mbombo, shows the DA is undergoing difficult circumstances.
“I think it’s possible that they might have more resignations. Remember, the last time they had this sort of thing was after Herman Mashaba left, and since then they’ve lost quite a few senior members. It’s quite a concern.”
Political science lecturer Shingai Mutizwa-Mangiza said: “It doesn’t help that the public perception and the growing narrative is that the DA is not accommodating to people of colour and that any transgression by people of colour results in severe disciplinary action. Just look at the party’s recent history with people like Patricia de Lille, Mmusi Maimane and Herman Mashaba.
“In addition, from a policy perspective, there’s the fact that going into the 2019 election, when they had their policy conference, they dropped their BEE policy and inserted a new clause focusing on inequality is unhelpful.”
A former DA member and now leader in the legislature of the minority Freedom Front Plus, Peter Marais, said: “The DA must adapt or die. It has an identity crisis.
“Beginning with the exit of the outspoken academic Lindiwe Mazibuko from the party in 2014 for her support of BEE, the exodus of prominent black leaders from the DA continues with the resignation of Bonginkosi Madikizela as provincial party leader and Health MEC Nomafrench Mbombo as chair of the DA’s Women’s Network.
“The question that should be asked is, why did the DA not simply ask Madikizela to apologise and withdraw his resignation as their Western Cape leader and MEC? Does the DA hope a black exodus will see a return of whites to their party? If so, those are false hopes.”