Critics may relish the DA’s implosion, but it is a national crisis
Whoever replaces Maimane as party leader will have to be a political thunderclap to rehabilitate the party
Wednesday’s wait is over. Thursday’s resignations have been accepted. The Zille wrecking ball has swung to a stop. And as the dust settles, one thing is now very clear: as of this moment, SA does not have a viable, long-term opposition party.
Critics might argue that we haven’t had one for some time. Jacob Zuma’s ANC was an all-you-could eat buffet for opposition politicians: one only needed to stand opposite that bloated, corrupt, contemptible mess to look like Angela Merkel crossed with Superman. And yet somehow the DA managed to look like a squabbling choir committee crossed with a nice-but-dim head prefect. The fact that it was given so much to work with and still never polled higher than 27% suggests that this week’s prolapse has been on the cards for a long time.
Still, even a DA plodding along at 27%, firing on half its cylinders, was arguably a better option than the clearly corrupt EFF selling snake oil and economic collapse, the FF+ offering free trips back to the 1950s, and the ACDP, whose contribution to the country this week was to denounce the art project of a matric pupil. (Some people were alarmed by the ACDP’s decision to go after a 17-year-old, but I think it was quite brave of them to tackle someone with a mental age so far above their own.)..