DA's revolving door: 5 resignations that rocked the party in 2020

30 December 2020 - 15:00
John Moodey resigned from the DA in September.
John Moodey resigned from the DA in September.
Image: Sunday Times

The year 2020 has seen many changes for SA's official opposition, the DA.

Some were expected, like the elective congress which saw John Steenhuisen emerge as the party's new leader. However, others were not.

Here are five politicians who left SA's second-biggest political party this year:

John Moodey 

After being in the DA (and its forerunner the Democratic Party) for more than 20 years, Moodey announced his resignation in September. Moodey was competing against Steenhuisen and former KZN youth leader Mbali Ntuli for the position of DA leader.  

In his resignation speech, Moodey said the values of the DA had changed and that he no longer felt comfortable calling the party his political home. He was critical of Helen Zille's controversial tweets about colonialism and apartheid, and said the DA's silence on her views shows that it supported her opinion.

Moodey joined Action SA in October and is the party's Gauteng chairperson. Action SA is one of SA's newest political parties, launched by former DA member and Joburg mayor Herman Mashaba.

Abel Tau 

The former city of Tshwane regional chairperson left the official opposition for Mashaba's party in July. Reasons for his resignation are unclear but TimesLIVE reported that he was sidelined by the party for various positions in the party.

He was not considered for the mayoral position in the metro as the DA opted to appoint Stevens Mokgalapa to replace Solly Msimanga after he left to become the Gauteng premier candidate.

Tau later acted as mayor but didn't make the cut as mayoral candidate as the DA appointed Randall Williams.

Funzela Ngobeni 

The former Johannesburg mayoral candidate ditched the party in March to join Mashaba's The People's Dialogue.

In his statement, Ngobeni said he did not want to “dwell too much on negativity”. He said he was joining Mashaba's party because he believed it would “prioritise South Africans”.

Graham Charters 

In February, Charters quit his job as John Steenhuisen’s chief of staff. Charters, who was an ally of former leader Mmusi Maimane, also did not divulge reasons for his decision. He shared the news via a Facebook post and described his time in the DA as “an incredible adventure”.

Mabine Seabe

Seabe had been a director of communications when he left the DA in January.

Seabe said he left the party to pursue other interests in the private sector. He joined the DA in 2013 and held various positions in the party, including that of Maimane's publicist during his candidateship as Gauteng premier in the same year, and his spokesperson during his tenure as DA leader.


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