DA rejects IRR’s show of naked opportunism – John Steenhuisen

Chief Whip says institute apparently seeks to raise funds in support of a presumed leadership contest within the DA

DA rejects IRR’s show of naked opportunism

2 October 2019

The Democratic Alliance (DA) rejects with contempt the naked opportunism displayed by the Institute of Race Relations (IRR) with its latest missive, in which it apparently seeks to raise funds in support of a presumed leadership contest within the DA.

The DA has noted the obsessive preoccupation that the IRR seems to have with the DA’s internal political and ideological conversations. This preoccupation has been increasing over the course of the last year or two.

The South African Constitution guarantees all citizens the right to freedom of expression, which includes the right to receive or impart information or ideas. The IRR is therefore free to engage in whatever ideological or philosophical conversations it wishes to. However, it is also guaranteed the freedom, in terms of section 19(1) of the Constitution, to join or form a political party.

Given that the IRR has such strong opinions about the DA’s leadership and internal debates, they are more than welcome to become members of the DA and exercise their membership rights to participate in the DA’s next Congress, at which the party’s leadership will be elected, instead of sniping from the side-lines and shamelessly piggy-backing their fundraising appeals on to it.

Given their obsession with the DA, the other option for the IRR is to form their own political party and contest elections in its own name - rather than attempt to piggy-back on the DA’s successes in government, as it is currently trying to do while fronting as an NPO.

The DA is will not be distracted from the important task of government, which it has been given by the voters of the Western Cape, Tshwane, Johannesburg, Cape Town and a host of other municipalities. Nor shall this distract us from the equally important task of providing a strong opposition in Parliament, the provincial legislatures, and all municipalities in which we have been entrusted to represent millions of voters across South Africa.

Issued by John Steenhuisen, Chief Whip of the Official Opposition, 2 October 2019