DA’s opponents painting party as white because they’re ‘afraid of black South Africans’: Maimane

07 April 2018 - 13:59
By Aphiwe Deklerk
Image: Democratic Alliance via Twitter "Democrats, you know you are winning the battle of ideas when your opponents manufacture lies to try and discredit you. When they call you names." - @MmusiMaimane

DA leader Mmusi Maimane says his political opponents have painted his party as white because they are "afraid of black South Africans" who are opposed to nationalist politics of the ANC and the EFF.

Delivering his opening address at the DA national conference‚ Maimane's speech was dominated by the issue of race and diversity which has been dominating discussion in his party ahead of its congress under way in Pretoria.

He said DA opponents such as the ANC and the EFF were now using racial politics to turn people against his party.

"Democrats‚ you know we are winning the battle of ideas when your opponents manufacture lies to try and discredit you. When they call you names. You see these lies are all they have left to defeat us‚" said Maimane.

He said the DA was being labelled as a party of apartheid by its opponents only because they knew the DA was the only party capable of uniting South Africans.

"They even say that I am a puppet of white people and‚ if we win elections‚ I will be replaced by a white person. The truth is that I will never be black enough for them. Because they don't want black people to think for themselves. They want black people to remain trapped in the politics of race because that's what keeps the ANC in power‚" said Maimane.

He said the ANC was afraid of the DA just as the apartheid government had feared white South Africans who rejected their racial nationalism.

"They are afraid of a new generation of black South Africans who think differently to them and want to choose their own futures‚" added Maimane. He said while other parties said only black people could speak for black people and only white people could speak for white people‚ his party was breaking those boundaries.

Maimane said although his upbringing as a black person by a Xhosa and Tswana parents from Soweto and his religion shaped who he was‚ he was the one who chose who he was.

He said when he was elected he said if people didn't see that he was black‚ they didn't see but there was a flip side to that.