- The DA has become embroiled in another race row over comments made by Mmusi Maimane on Freedom Day
- He said that white privilege and black poverty needed to be confronted
- Senior officials in the DA we worried that this would alienate white voters and jeopardise the party's prospects in the 2019 general elections
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DA leader Mmusi Maimane has come under fire from members of his own party over comments he made during a speech during a rally at Soshanguve on Freedom Day.
Some of the DA's most senior member warned that Maimane runs the risk of alienating the white voter base after he said that "white privilege and black poverty" must be confronted.
Briefly.co.za learned that the pressure being placed on Maimane by DA officials has been described as an "orchestrated attack on him" according to news24.com.
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Three DA members took Maimane on during a caucus meeting, the DA’s Deputy Chief Whip Mike Waters, Chief Whip John Steenhuisen and MP Natasha Mazzone warned Maimane that his comments could jeopardise their white voter base.
The DA need all the support they can get if they wish to take control of Gauteng in next year's general election.
Some believe that the confrontation was triggered by white party members feeling that their positions in the DA were at risk and would affect the job prospects of white DA members in parliament and government.
Maimane explained that he refused to apologise for his comments he made during Freedom Day.
“I firmly stand by the comments I made during the party’s Freedom Day celebrations. This is because South Africa remains a deeply unequal society in which black South Africans remain locked out of opportunities, even after 24 years of democracy.
“The systemic consequences of apartheid still remain. The ANC has done little to break down this inequality and as the DA we want to break these barriers down,” Maimane said.
He felt that the caucus ended on a positive note after he had been given the opportunity to explain his comments.
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“The liberation of one race is not the enslaving of another."
“In fact, it is a call to say, ‘all of us people, if we recognise there is an injustice to one, we can work together to address it’. Just like if I saw that women are marginalised, I don’t need to be a woman to fight for women’s issues."
“I called on white people to say, ‘you are part of the solution and not the problem, so come in and say what contribution you can make to address the problem’."
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