The DA has been cautioned about potentially losing support from Muslim voters.

The DA has been cautioned about potentially losing support from Muslim voters. image: SABC News

DA’s Israel stand ‘risking Muslim votes’

The DA has been advised that it could lose backing from Muslim voters due to its perceived support for Israel.

The DA has been cautioned about potentially losing support from Muslim voters.

The DA has been cautioned about potentially losing support from Muslim voters. image: SABC News

The DA’s position on the Israel-Palestine conflict might result in a loss of support both in the Western Cape and nationwide.

DA’s Israel stance could cost them the Western Cape and national support

As per Andre Duvenhage, a professor and political analyst at North-West University, Muslims throughout South Africa may retaliate against the Democratic Alliance (DA) in both the Western Cape and nationally during the upcoming national and provincial elections in May due to the party’s position on Israel’s conflict in Gaza.

According to The Citizen, the DA’s position on the Israel-Palestine matter has upset Muslims nationwide, particularly after party leader John Steenhuisen’s remarks regarding whether genocide was occurring in Gaza.

“One man’s genocide is another’s man’s freedom,” said Steenhuisen when asked about the military actions of Israel in Palestine.

After Steenhuisen’s remarks, some individuals advocated for a fatwa (religious directive) declaring it “absolutely haram” (not permissible) for Muslims to support the DA through voting.

Duvenhage mentioned that the Gaza conflict typically presents two perspectives.

“At the moment, that whole situation is escalating probably to a regional conflict. Some even say it can become a world war. So, the problem with these type of cases, and the South African government is facing the same problem, is that it is very difficult to be in a position where you try to be non-aligned. The conflict is escalating to the level that it is forcing you to align on a certain point.

“When  you align, you are going to pay a price like the government is going probably to lose the preferred situation on Agoa that is at the moment through the legislators,” Duvenhage said. 

Duvenhage also noted that his evaluation suggests that the DA’s backing is diminishing.

“My own assessment is that their support base is a bit lower. It is around 21, 22 maybe 23% in that order. And there’s no doubt that a reaction from the Muslim community is going to impact negatively on the Democratic Alliance.”

Duvenhage also mentioned that nationally, the DA might face repercussions from Muslim voters.

“We must take into consideration that the numbers, when it comes to the Muslim population, is relatively small in comparison to the bigger constituency or the bigger constituencies in South Africa. But yes, it’s going to have an impact and I believe it won’t be only limited to the Western Cape. It will affect probably Gauteng and maybe a few other areas.

Malema urges Muslim voters to reject parties backing Israel’s actions

Julius Malema, leader of the Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF), urged Muslim voters in Lenasia, South of Johannesburg, to refuse support for any political parties that endorse Israel.

The Democratic Alliance (DA), which holds power in the Western Cape, has faced allegations of backing Israel in the Middle East conflict, although the party denies these claims.

Malema said no right-thinking Muslim should vote for all those who support the genocide in Palestine.

Melanie Verwoerd, an independent political analyst, suggests that Muslim votes in the Western Cape are available for different political parties to compete for.

Verwoerd points out that the Western Cape boasts the largest Muslim population in South Africa, comprising 6.6% of the province’s total population.

This suggests that other political parties have the opportunity to secure Muslim votes that might have traditionally gone to the DA.