A painful post-mortem

26 June 2020 | Opinion

A 30-page report detailing the crisis within South Africa’s official opposition, the Democratic Alliance (DA), was effectively the death knell for the party’s former leader Mmusi Maimane.

The report revealed a party crippled by indecision, uncertain about race and policy and unclear about how to address its electoral decline last year. Similarly, Swapo’s politburo endorsed a proposal that a post-mortem was needed of the party’s performance in last year’s general election in which President Hage Geingob’s majority in the State House race was reduced from 87% to 56%. The party also lost 14 seats to the opposition in the National Assembly election. Obviously, the DA and Swapo dynamics are somewhat different. The governing party in Namibia was effectively at war with itself in the run-up to the polls, with a party member in the form of Dr Panduleni Itula, and his raft of supporters, who are still hungover from their 2017 Swapo congress blues, successfully causing massive electoral pain for Geingob. What will be interesting is whether Swapo’s post-mortem will in fact be painfully honest. There are key issues at play. Firstly, such an analysis would not be worth the paper it is written on if it is factional or if it is driven towards a pre-determined outcome. Secondly, if it is painfully honest, there exists the possibility of it being weaponised. Of course, the analysis may never be revealed publicly, but perhaps this is owed, principally, to those who have kept faith with the party.

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