DA bats away criticism of mainly white male campaign managers
The opposition DA has played down criticism about a lack of diversity in the list of the party’s local government campaign managers.
A list doing the rounds on social media shows the names of 18 DA members — a list dominated by white men.
It has been criticised by social media users for its lack of diversity.
Of the 18, there are only two white women and two coloured men. There is not a single black candidate featured on the list.
The list comes as many political analysts have pointed out that the DA was trying to appease its traditional white supporters after the election of federal council chairperson Helen Zille and party leader John Steenhuisen at the congress in 2020.
Its adoption of non-racialism, which discards race, was also heavily criticised by commentators.
The party lists diversity as part of its values and principles. On its website, under the “diversity” section, the party says this is one of its greatest assets.
“The party celebrates diversity, and recognises the right of each individual to be who they want to be, free from domination by others. The party solemnly subscribes to the preamble to the constitution of SA, which recognises the injustices of our past and affirms that SA belongs to all who live in it, united in diversity.
“The party will continue to take active steps to promote and advance diversity in its own ranks.”
DA media manager Liza Albrecht confirmed the list was legitimate but failed to respond to a question about how the party justified the composition of the team.
“The provincial campaign managers are mostly the provincial chairpersons or relevant political heads in each province, while the rest are staff members. They are appointed on the grounds of their experience in the field. That is all the party is willing to say on this matter,” said Albrecht.
The provincial chairs are Dean Macpherson (KwaZulu-Natal) and Andrew Whitfield (Eastern Cape), who was campaign manager for Athol Trollip’s bid to win Nelson Mandela Bay in 2016. Western Cape chairperson Jaco Londt also features on the list, together with Gauteng chairperson Fred Nel, Free State chairperson Werner Horn and Northern Cape chairperson Isak Fritz.