Black leaders in the DA are just employees: Soweto DA leader
A Soweto West Democratic Alliance senior official has lambasted the party and its seniors for "disrespecting blacks".
Speaking to News24, DA Soweto West branch secretary Billy Nyaku condemned his own party, saying blacks were not treated equally with whites within party structures.
Nyaku said his frustrations started when he discovered none of the members from the Soweto constituency would speak at a DA event held last week.
'Herman Mashaba had come to speak and we organised buses with people and encouraged them to support, wearing DA T-shirts. We were the home constituency and they imported someone to come through and take over the programme. It was very frustrating because we put a lot of work into that.
"This is not the only issue. When we have events in Soweto none of the white members attend."
Nyaku further claimed that there was no freedom for black members of the party.
"People are afraid to speak out because they do not want to lose their jobs. We don’t have influential black leaders in the party. We cannot challenge decisions made by whites. I was not brought into this party to listen.
“I am on the ground and I want to assist my people through the party. But at the moment, we are not being heard. We are being led. I feel be we are being disrespected. Black leaders in the DA are just employees. We need understand, we can learn a lot from black leaders. There are maybe 1% of blacks that are influential in the party."
Nyaku also said he felt DA leader Mmusi Maimane needed to step down from his position as the youth leader.
"There are no youth structures in this party. It does not work. He needs to step down and allow other strong young black leaders to have a space."
Responding to the claims, DA Gauteng provincial leader John Moodey said the claims were "baseless".
"He comes across as someone who is disgruntled, therefore has become very personal and is blowing this out of proportion. I question his statistics. As a black person myself, I am very comfortable in the party. Mmusi Maimane is not the youth leader. He is a national leader and the DA’s number one.
"There are steps to take within party structures if he feels there are issues."