- The DA has been criticised for a lack of diversity in its top leadership structures after its elective conference this weekend
- Only one woman was elected into the party’s top 8 leadership
- DA federal executive chairperson James Selfe responded to criticism that the DA was not diverse enough during an interview on Monday
The Democratic Alliance (DA) held its own elective conference or what the party calls its Federal Congress in Pretoria this past weekend. Delegates elected leaders who they hope will help the DA achieve key victories in next year’s general election.
The DA has however been criticised for a lack of diversity in its leadership with only one woman making it into the top eight leaders of the party. White people also either retained or were voted into leadership positions.
On Monday, DA federal executive chairperson James Selfe responded to the criticism regarding a lack of diversity. Selfe said a majority of delegates at the conference were black and had voted for a strong and capable leadership structure.
Briefly.co.za gathered that Selfe stood uncontested for re-election to his position. He argued that the election did show diversity because an overwhelming majority of delegates were black.
“Black people in the DA don’t necessarily vote for black people and the whole point we’re making is you don’t need to be black people to represent black interests or white people to represent white interests. You need to be a human being of capability that is trusted by the delegates to represent their points of view and that’s exactly what happened at the congress,” he said.
Selfe said diversity was the output, not the input and no-one could manipulate a democratic outcome. He said a democratic outcome had delivered the results.
Selfe claimed the DA was the most racially diverse party in South Africa and said other parties were prone to racial nationalism. He said: “Just about every other political organisation in South Africa mobilises around racial nationalism.”
“There are very few diverse parties. Indeed, I believe we are the only diverse party in South Africa that welcomes all sectors of the South African society into our ranks, united around common value,” he said.
Selfe said the DA did not research people’s motives for voting a certain way in elections, but he maintained the DA was diverse and was always looking for ways to increase diversity.
Both Selfe and DA leader Mmusi Maimane rejected the notion of introducing racial quotas in the leadership structure and instead backed the adoption of the so-called diversity clause.
Maimane suggested that diversity would become the DA’s fourth pillar, but said quotas would be a manipulation of the DA’s democratic election process.
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