Black leaders ‘under attack’ in DA, says Moodey as he quits
Trying to change the DA from within would have been tantamount to selling out, like those who served in the tricameral parliament during apartheid, former DA heavyweight John Moodey said on Wednesday.
Moodey, a vocal critic of DA federal council chair Helen Zille, announced his resignation from the party on Wednesday.
This means the party leader contest is now a two-horse race between interim leader John Steenhuisen and KwaZulu-Natal MPL Mbali Ntuli.
Moodey told the Dispatch he had left on his terms.
“During the apartheid period those who were involved with the tricameral parliament — we told them they were sell-outs when they told us they would change things from within.
“You can’t change things from within — that’s why I left the ANC.
“When I see a party going into a direction I don’t like and if it’s bad for SA and I don’t feel comfortable and have no respect for the leadership, why do I stay?
“No ways. I’m not going to waste my time,” he said.
Moodey, who defected to DA forerunner the Democratic Party in 1998, said there had been a move to charge him for allegedly conspiring to implicate a DA MP in a “jobs-for-sex-scandal”.
“There has been an attempt to terminate my membership and to purge us from the party, so I’m not going to give them that pleasure.
“There are many other leaders, black leaders in the party, that are under attack. Watch and see,” he said.
Moodey, one of the DA provincial leaders who publicly declared their support for former party leader Mmusi Maimane before he quit in 2019, slammed Steenhuisen’s executive for what he said was its silence on Zille’s controversial tweets on race, colonialism and apartheid.
There are many other leaders, black leaders in the party, that are under attack
“I can no longer identify with or associate with the leadership and what they stand for, and I could not stand by and be part of the party seeing the direction it’s going to,” Moodey said.
The DA previously said it had referred Zille’s tweets to the federal legal council to investigate.
Steenhuisen referred the Dispatch to a statement released by DA Gauteng provincial spokesperson Refiloe Nt’sekhe and provincial chair Mike Moriarty, which described Moodey’s resignation as “unfortunate and unnecessary”.
“John has cited alleged unfairness through the charges he faces before our federal legal commission.
“We confirm that due process was followed, as it always has been. We reject the allegation that these charges amount to a witch-hunt against him.
“It is very unfortunate that he plays the race card to justify his decision to avoid due process.”
Speculation is rife Moodey might join Maimane’s One SA Movement or former Johannesburg mayor Herman Mashaba’s Action SA.
Moodey said he had not yet made up his mind about his political future, but would “take a short sabbatical” first.
Political analyst Prof Mcebisi Ndletyana said Moodey’s resignation was a culmination of tensions around economic and racial redress policies which first surfaced during the leadership of then-parliamentary leader Lindiwe Mazibuko and party boss Zille.
Everything came to a head when the DA performed poorly at the 2019 polls.
“They [DA] felt that Maimane’s continual harping on racial redress [was] a little bit ambivalent and potentially alienating of white people.
“They brought back Zille because she has re-emerged as a major galvanising force around the conservative wing of the party,” he said, adding Moodey’s resignation was bad news for the DA going to the 2021 municipal polls. — DispatchLIVE
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