Members of the Democratic Party (DP) on Wednesday night threatened to walk out of a political forum, accusing the guest speaker of "demonising" the party by saying it still served the interests of whites.

Mark Lowe of the DP told the meeting that he was "outraged" by the one-sided argument presented by the guest speaker, Mathatha Tsedu, deputy editor of The Star.

Tsedu was invited by the Democracy Development Programme (DDP) to speak on the topic "The quest for hegemony or misguided opposition".

An upset Lowe said he wished to respond to the scathing attack, but Sudeshan Reddy, a research officer of the DDP, told him the aim of the organisation was to educate and generate debate on controversial issues - not to provide a platform for party political views.

"Can I have a minute, then?" Lowe said.

"No," said Dumisani Hlophe, the forum's co-ordinator, "you've been in power too long."

Addressing the gathering at a beach-front hotel, Tsedu said the DP came across as a party determined to hold on to the vestiges of the past.