Carol Paton Writer at Large

The election in the Western Cape is set to be a thriller. The DA, which had become used to achieving comfortable majorities, is under threat and sits just on the 50% mark according to the party’s internal polling. After a 63,56% majority in 2016 and 59,38% in 2014 this is a frightening development for it. And campaigners are turning up the volume in the last push to the election. The plunge in support is accounted for mostly by its own bad behaviour. The DA has spent the past two years at war with itself, eventually pushing out the executive mayor of Cape Town Patricia de Lille in a dirty and unprincipled manner. Its top leaders have been at odds on key policy issues, especially those related to race. Provincial results for the 2014 general elections in the Western Cape by individual ward Factions of the DA have disagreed — and seemed to mostly win —a fight with leader Mmusi Maimane over the value of race-based policies such as affirmative action and “representativity” at a leadersh...

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