POLITICS
27/05/2018 09:59 SAST | Updated 27/05/2018 09:59 SAST

DA Split 'Will Guarantee ANC Power For Decades', Top Former Strategist Warns

Ryan Coetzee was the brains behind the DA's growth until 2011. And he's not impressed by talk about a new, purely liberal party.

South African opposition party, Democratic Alliance (DA) President Mmusi Maimane speaks at a press conference at the party's Federal Congress in Pretoria on April 8, 2018.
GULSHAN KHAN via Getty Images
South African opposition party, Democratic Alliance (DA) President Mmusi Maimane speaks at a press conference at the party's Federal Congress in Pretoria on April 8, 2018.

If there is a split in the DA and an attempt to establish a purely liberal political party it will simply ensure that the ANC remains in power for the foreseeable future, says the party's former chief strategist Ryan Coetzee.

City Press reported on Sunday that there are plans afoot to create an offshoot of the DA based on the party's liberal principles, which some disgruntled members, including MPs, are being eroded by leader Mmusi Maimane.

He warned in a series of tweets on Sunday that the "centre-ground alternative" to the ANC will be split and that decisive leadership is now necessary to give clear direction to the country's biggest opposition party.

Coetzee was in charge of party strategy and is widely credited with modernising and professionalising the party's operations, assisting the growth of its electoral support between 2004 and 2011. He left the DA allegedly after a disagreement with then-leader Helen Zille and took up a position as adviser to Nick Clegg in 2012, who was deputy prime minister in David Cameron's coalition government.