Unfortunately Maimane opened himself up to being the black face through which the DA’s old guard could continue to control the party while creating a façade that the party was being transformed.

Without a black leader, the DA had reached its growth ceiling and the only way to expand its support base was to attract urbane, aspirational young black people to a modern equal-opportunity party seemingly led and controlled by people like them.

That has now been exposed as a pretence.

Over the past three years, Maimane has spent much of his time fighting fires and having to dance on hot coals, mostly through the race politics of the DA and because he is clearly not the person calling the shots.

To his credit, Maimane has made some effort to assert his authority but those who control the party from the shadows are always able to override him.

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