From John Moodey to Funzela Ngobeni — five DA resignations in 2020

03 September 2020 - 12:15 By Cebelihle Bhengu
John Moodey resigned from the DA on Wednesday.
John Moodey resigned from the DA on Wednesday.
Image: Sunday Times

The DA has suffered  another blow with the resignation of John Moodey on Wednesday.

The Gauteng leader joined a string of other prominent leaders who have left the party in 2020.

Here are five resignations in 2020 that have rocked the official opposition:

Mabine Seabe — January

The former director of communications was the first to leave the party this year. Seabe said he resigned to focus on new adventures in the private sector. He said the decision had long been in the pipeline, though he did not deny that the resignation of former leader Mmusi Maimane had fast-tracked his exit.

Seabe joined the party in 2013 and held various posts including being Maimane's spokesperson during his tenure as leader of the DA. Seabe was also Maimane's publicist for his campaign to become Gauteng premier.

Graham Charters — February 

John Steenhuisen's chief of staff, Graham Charters, quit his position without divulging his reasons.

He announced via a Facebook post that the decision followed “much thought, prayer and discussions” with his family and friends.

Charters said he was not leaving politics, and he described his time in the DA as “an incredible adventure”. He said he would use his time off to plan his next move and how he could best contribute to building a multiracial and fair SA.

Funzela Ngobeni — March

The former Johannesburg mayoral candidate said he would join Herman Mashaba's People's Dialogue “to build a new political alternative in SA” which will prioritise South Africans.

“I have no intention of dwelling on too much negativity, as I know many of you are battling to come to terms with the trajectory the party has taken lately,” he said in a statement.

Mashaba resigned as mayor of Johannesburg in October 2019, after the election of Helen Zille as federal chair.

Abel Tau — July 

Tau also ditched the official opposition to join Mashaba. The former city of Tshwane regional chairperson was welcomed by Mashaba, who said he was best suited to join his political party, as he had not failed in his previous duties.

Mashaba said Tau wanted to be part of a movement that has the potential to unseat the ruling party and improve the lives of South Africans. He also raved about his experience gained in the DA, which he said will be “invaluable” in his new party.

Mashaba launched a new party, Action SA, on Saturday.

John Moodey — September 

Moodey announced his resignation from the DA on Wednesday after being a member for more than 20 years. He was also contesting the position of party leader against Mbali Ntuli and interim leader John Steenhuisen.

He said the values of the DA had changed from when he first joined and that he was no longer comfortable calling the party his political home. He accused the leadership of targeting members who supported Maimane. He also criticised it for ignoring Zille's insensitive tweets on apartheid laws and colonialism.

“The fact that the party remains quiet when she makes such pronouncements shows that it supports her opinion.”

He said after much soul searching, he was no longer able to publicly defend the DA.