- President Cyril Ramaphosa has given his and the ANC’s support to DA leader Mmusi Maimane
- The president said the ANC would rise in unison to defend Maimane from his own party
- Ramaphosa made the remarks after it emerged Maimane was confronted by 3 senior members of the DA about his Freedom Day speech in which he spoke about white privilege and black poverty
President Cyril Ramaphosa has vowed to throw his and the ANC’s support behind DA leader Mmusi Maimane. Ramaphosa said the ANC would rise in unison to defend Maimane from his own party, this after it emerged that Maimane was taken to task by senior DA officials for his Freedom Day speech.
Maimane told a group of supporters in Pretoria that South Africans had to confront white privilege and black poverty in order to bring about true freedom.
On Thursday, Maimane was confronted about the remarks by DA chief whip John Steenhuisen, his deputy Mike Waters and MP Natasha Mazzone. The meeting has been described by DA insiders as an orchestrated attack on Maimane.
Briefly.co.za gathered that the three DA officials are believed to be worried that Maimane’s message would alienate white voters which could be damaging in the party’s quest to win control of Gauteng in the 2019 election.
Party insiders revealed there was some fear within the DA about how diversity and race within the party would impact individual jobs within the party and the jobs of white DA members in government.
Maimane refused to back down from his comments and stance about the DA needing to transform and become more diverse, he said that he stood by the speech he gave on Freedom Day.
Maimane said: “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 DA leader said the ANC had done little to eliminate inequality and it was up to the DA to break down the barriers which still lingered as a result of apartheid.
Ramaphosa used his time in the National Assembly on Tuesday to congratulate Maimane on his Freedom Day speech.
“We will be the first to defend Mmusi Maimane against those in his own party who want to deny the reality of racial inequality in South Africa. We will rise in unison, Mr Maimane, to defend you because your message was on point; you were absolutely correct. We were alarmed to see headlines in a local newspaper which said that the majority of DA members are turning against you because you were telling the truth, “Ramaphosa said.
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