The DA needs a statesman not a

The DA needs a statesman not a Dominee: Maimane could be a liability

We’re less than 24 hours away from an extremely important debate over Zuma’s ability to hold office, and already the small, almost ethereal voices of reason rising from among the ANC elite ranks have been (quite forcefully) stifled.

The DA needs a statesman not a

Jackson Mthembu, Chief Whip of the ruling party,  recently called for the dissolution of NEC, and a proverbial ‘opening of windows and shutters’ to let a lot of stale air out, and fresh air in. This incidentally was the stance of the Roman Catholic Church in the early 1960’s, and more tellingly, it was their ‘saving grace’ so to speak. It could also be, thus, for an embattled and increasingly irrelevant revolutionary party such as the ANC: if those who hold sufficient power to bring the executive to account act now and act decisively.

The Honourable Member Mthembu has at this point, perhaps even more so than Gordhan, considerable power over the fate the executive and his cabal. If the Chief Whips of the opposition and Mthembu of the ANC can agree to call a ‘blind’ vote, then ANC MP’s can without fear or favour vote Zuma out into a political void. South Africa could regain her composure, and those seeking to uphold the heavy and honourable mandate of our founding Mothers and Fathers could be supported by a renewed and ‘holy’ ANC  instead of vilified – as is sadly the case with Adv. Thuli Madonsela, and Minister Pravin Gordhan.

To our dismay, Mthembu has reneged on his position, and has called the vote of no confidence premature or ‘jumping the gun’. Similar sentiments were recently expressed by Secretary General of the ANC, Gwede Mantashe. Clearly, the ANC NEC meeting on Monday the 7th of November did enough to put fear into the hearts of these not so brave men. Gwede has been known to vacillate over the Zuma Presidency so much so he recently claimed it might kill him. Well if you can’t be a ‘standup guy’ Gwede, then perhaps so be it… After all, was it not at all infuriating to watch Zuma sleep through Minister Gordhan’s mini budget speech? 8.9 million unemployed people in South Africa and Zuma slept while South Africa burns.

Enter Maimane. While the honourable leader of the opposition clearly has his heart in the right place, I wonder if it is not at all hard for him to effectively communicate and ‘win over’ the ruling party MP’s. Every video I’ve watched of Mr Maimane speaking in Parly has driven home only one point: Mr Maimane much like all religious leaders (save our Eminence Tutu) speaks with authority and condemnation. It is much more difficult, I argue, to win over an opposition whilst you pour fire and brimstone on their heads. Surely, surely, would it not be better to approach Mthembu and the ANC MP’s with collective gravity, one wherein the DA, Cope and others also share culpability? Instead of beating down upon the ANC MP’s as a righteous leader, come to them as a human, with as many faults as them?

I fear that the vociferous stance of the DA leadership in Parly at times like these could be detrimental to saving our democracy. At other times it is more than welcome, for example: when Glynnis Breytenbach grilled Adv. Shaun Abrahams over his disorderly if not corrupt conduct as head of the NPA. I truly hope that the young man Maimane, can learn to become a statesman and not  a dominee. South Africa is in dire need of such effective leadership, especially since the ANC keeps the shutters firmly closed.