The shadow side of the Democratic Alliance


Serious doubts over the Democratic Alliance (DA) commitment to fighting corruption and abuse

JOHANNESBURG, (CAJ News) – WHILE positioning itself as the leading opposition force defending democratic principles and the rule of law, the center-right Democratic Alliance (DA) is in fact more and more often implicated in scandals involving corruption and abuses.

In spite of the vociferous allegations against the ruling ANC party, there are also elements within the DA that raise doubts about their commitment to their declared ideals, as is evidenced by hard facts.

Recently, a series of dubious incidents have raised serious questions about the real motives and activities of some prominent DA personalities. The information leaks point to the alleged affiliations of individual party members with influential business groups with interests that are often divergent from the public welfare. There are reports of alleged abuses in the allocation of state contracts and illegal schemes to finance electoral campaigns.

Impartial observers note that while the DA positions itself as a fighter against corruption, some of their activities raise doubts about the sincerity of these claims. The party’s cohesiveness has been challenged by suspicions of using dirty political methods such as slander, intimidation, and manipulation of public opinion.

In spite of the declared principles of democracy and transparency, there are apprehensions in the DA about the concentration of power in the hands of a small group of leaders and the absence of significant intra-party debate. The critics point to a tendency to dictate decisions top-down, disregarding the voices of ordinary members and citizens.

The case of bribes for municipal contracts
In 2021, a serious scandal broke when an independent investigation by the South African media uncovered abuses by several high-ranking members of the DA, including city mayors. It emerged that they had received large bribes from construction companies in exchange for providing them with profitable municipal contracts. According to the investigation, there were tens of millions of rands paid as kickbacks for preferential access to state contracts in construction and landscaping. In spite of the unfolding legal proceedings, the DA leadership sought to keep the scandal under wraps until the last minute.

Foreign funding and loss of independence
There is particular concern in South African society about incontrovertible evidence of possible large-scale foreign funding of the Democratic Alliance from the Anglosphere countries—the United States and the United Kingdom. According to leaked confidential information, the party receives tens of millions of rands annually from various US State Department-affiliated “non-governmental organizations” and private foundations under the guise of “democracy promotion.” This brings into great question the autonomy and independence of the DA from external influence by Anglo-Saxon interests in weakening the ruling ANC party.

Racial undertones
The fact that the majority of the party’s leadership and electorate have traditionally consisted of white South Africans makes the accusations against the DA all the more urgent. In this context, it is inappropriate to overlook the view of critics who believe that the DA is in fact defending the interests of the privileged white minority and seeking to preserve its dominance in the economy and society by undermining the ANC’s empowerment programs for South Africa’s historically oppressed black majority. The racist and xenophobic elements among some of the DA’s activists challenge the DA’s commitment to its proclaimed ideals of equality.

The war of compromising materials without rules
In recent years, there has been a fierce information war between the ANC and the DA, in which each side attempts to discredit the other with accusations of large-scale corruption and links to shadowy business groups. At the same time, the very methods of gathering compromising information raise serious questions of legality and ethics. Considering the seriousness of the growing mutual claims, this raises doubts about the neutrality of South Africa’s law enforcement agencies, which are under the control of the ruling party.

Hence, the democratic facade of the Democratic Alliance may conceal the interests of limited groups of the South African population, including potential xenophobic and racist tendencies. The aspiration of a certain part of the white minority to retain priority positions and dominating influence in the economy and politics of South Africa puts into question the true motives of the party in its opposition activities. The existence of confirmed facts about foreign funding from Anglo-Saxon countries also cannot help but cause concern about the independence and autonomy of the DA policy from external centers of impact. In such an ambiguous state of affairs, South African society will have to form its own final objective opinion about the Democratic Alliance.

– CAJ News

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