'No regrets': Makashule Gana the latest black leader to quit the DA

Makashule Gana did not say which political formation he would be joining except to quip that he would be part of an emerging generation of leaders and activists committed to mobilising and organising to return power to South Africans.

Makashule Gana. Picture: Facebook

JOHANNESBURG - Former Democratic Alliance (DA) youth leader Makashule Gana has become the latest black leader to dump the DA, just a few months after another former youth leader, Mbali Ntuli, quit the party.

Gana, in a statement released on Thursday, did not say which political formation he would be joining except to quip that he would be part of an emerging generation of leaders and activists committed to mobilising and organising to return power to South Africans.

"I leave the DA with a clear conscience, no regrets, and a cemented sense of purpose and a calling to
serve the country," said Gana.

In a conversation with Eyewitness News, Gana said that the political alternative for South Africans did not exist as yet but needed to be built from the “ground-up.” He said that he’d be engaged in conversations about his future immediately, with an announcement to follow suit.

However, he insisted that he would not be donning the green colours, as his friend and former DA member Bongani Baloyi did, who joined ActionSA, a party led by former DA Johannesburg mayor, Herman Mashaba.

Baloyi now heads the party in Gauteng and is likely to be its premier candidate for the province in the 2024 national and provincial elections.

“I am not joining ActionSA, I am going to have conversations that will build a new alternative, a new political alternative all together than one that currently exists,” Gana told Eyewitness News.

ActionSA, mainly featuring former DA members, has helped the DA retain power across all of Gauteng’s metros, with an aim of growing support to contest at the national polls in 2024.

The likes of Mashaba, Ntuli, former DA leader Mmusi Maimane, former parliamentary leader Lindiwe Mazibuko and Phumzile van Damme are some of the black leaders who have walked away from the DA in recent times, arguing that the party no longer represented the political ideals they identified with.

In an interview with Eyewitness News, Gana also said that the DA had changed.

"The DA at some point kind of lost the desire and appetite to build a serious consensus, to become much broader than what it is," said Gana.

He said that he would not be taking any time off from politics as he was set to finalise a few things before confirming his new political home, which will be more "people-centred".

"There is a widening trust deficit between citizens and political parties that has resulted in many eligible voters turning down the opportunity to vote out of despair and disappointment," said Gana.

The politician had been with the DA since his teenage years, joining the party at 19 and then serving as its youth leader, deputy federal chairperson, elections campaign manager and most recently, as a MPL network chairperson, over the years.

In March, another former youth leader, Ntuli, quit the party, stating that she wanted to work with political organisations at grassroots level.

Last year, DA veteran Douglas Gibson described the party’s attempts to fast-track black politicians as an experiment gone wrong.

A slew of resignations, including those of white politicians and councillors followed, solidifying perceptions that the disagreement over the DA’s future cut across the racial divide.

The DA is perceived to have moved further to the right wing of the political spectrum in order to appease conservative Afrikaner voters who did not support the party in the 2019 elections.