What do you get when you combine a “reputation manager”, a political adviser and a banker? The crisis in the DA started with an “independent review” commissioned by party leader Mmusi Maimane after the disappointing May 2019 election result. Maimane asked former DA electoral strategist Ryan Coetzee to chair the panel, and persuaded former party leader Tony Leon and banker Michiel le Roux to make up a three-man panel.

The panel’s report is clear and decisive. Readers of the full document may, however, have concern about the panel’s composition and how it reached its conclusions. Coetzee and Leon enjoyed remarkable electoral success, at least among white and coloured voters. Leon now chairs a lobbying and “reputation-management” outfit. Ominously for Maimane, its website promises that “we change people’s minds about you”.

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