The DA’s head of elections Jonathan Moakes has formally announced his resignation from the party.
City Press understands that Moakes had tendered his resignation months before the May 8 polls. He had agreed with the party leadership that he would move on after wrapping up the election campaign.
The DA were the biggest losers of the 2019 general elections, dropping to 21% from the 22% the party had garnered in 2014. A significant share of the more than 400 000 votes lost by the party appears to have gone to the Freedom Front Plus, who experienced significant growth.
This election was party leader Mmusi Maimane’s first election at the helm after he succeeded former party leader Helen Zille.
Although Moakes would have left the party regardless of the outcomes of the elections, in his resignation letter he states that he was “deeply disappointed” by the party’s performance at the polls.
Moakes says that he is busy compiling a review of the party’s performance but does point out in the letter a number of issues the party must grapple with.
It is with great sadness that I have witnessed this sense of care being slowly eroded by some over the past number of years
“Unfortunately, our party has been at a crossroads for some time now with some pretty fundamental disagreement as to who we are, who we are fighting for and what we want to achieve. It is my hope that the party engages in the necessary processes to resolve these questions so that we can move forward decisively and with clear purpose. The fact that we have delayed the resolution of these key questions is undoubtedly a key factor as to why we went backwards in election 2019,” Moakes writes.
The culture and ethos we once had and protected is in peril right now with care for and support of our colleagues often deprioritised by a toxic, abnormal environment
“It is with great sadness that I have witnessed this sense of care being slowly eroded by some over the past number of years. I am enough of a realist to know that a political party will always be an environment of vigorous debate and contestation where internal politics will often rival the intensity of external political contests. The culture and ethos we once had and protected is in peril right now with care for and support of our colleagues often deprioritised by a toxic, abnormal environment. Internal fights, breaking of trust, disunity and inability to manage internal issues inside the party have become the norm.”
Moakes says that in order to rebuild the party needs to align itself around a shared vision, to do away with internal fighting, and” firm and decisive leadership.
“There is a significant amount of work to be done and it needs to start as soon as possible. Despite our current electoral situation, we have a great opportunity to retain existing governments in 2021 and win more municipalities. But this will require unity of purpose and a strong external focus. It is my sincere belief that if the party focuses as it should, momentum can be reclaimed and a path towards national government can begin to be forged again with positive results in the next local government elections. We still have a solid and stable foundation for future growth. And if we retain what makes us successful, discard what holds us back and continue to improve and embrace the value of innovation, we can only grow from strength to strength.”