Ghaleb Cachalia, a prominent member of the Democratic Alliance (DA), has officially parted ways with the party. In a post on X (formerly Twitter) on Thursday, he announced his resignation, attributing his decision to the increasing dysfunction within the organisation, its undemocratic methods, and its inclination towards authoritarianism.

By Telegram Reporter

In a significant development, Ghaleb Cachalia, the highly vocal DA MP, has dumped the party. GhalebCachalia-quits-DA

Cachalia cited various reasons for his departure, including concerns over what he described as the party’s increasing dysfunctionality and its tendency towards both authoritarianism and a lack of democracy.

Furthermore, he revealed that his clash with the party leadership regarding his comments on the war in Gaza played a crucial role in his decision to step down.

In his letter of resignation dated  18 January, Cachalia stated: “The leadership of the DA has become increasingly uncomfortable with my public utterances over the past few months.

“This mainly concerns issues around the war on Gaza. As a consequence, I have been fired from my position in the shadow cabinet – notwithstanding any connection between my erstwhile portfolio and the events referred to.

“Since then I have been accused of contradicting DA official policy and contravening a caucus injunction to only allow the shadow minister for DIRCO to comment on related matters. I have since received a ‘Cease and Desist’ notification.”

Cachalia expressed his disagreement with the credibility of any established and well-documented policy that has been approved through proper channels in response to the DA leadership.

He emphasised that he observed the absence of such a policy on any official DA website. Furthermore, he asserted that he had not been provided with any caucus decision that grants exclusive authority to the shadow minister to comment on this particular issue.

“This evinces a growing dysfunctional, undemocratic and authoritarian tendency in the party. I am of the firm belief that insofar as such policy may exist on the war in Gaza, I have not directly contradicted party policy in any way.

“As a consequence I cannot but infer that party leadership intends, not only to sideline me but also to prevent my return as a candidate MP on the list for the 2024 elections. Over the same period, I have repeatedly sought meetings with the leader and requested mediation processes to be instituted. Such requests have been met with silence.

“The party leader has since said he is open to mediation contingent on me furnishing him with an apology in advance of any mediation. It is my understanding that ordinarily the terms and process of any mediation would address any apologies by either party as well as any attendant issues.”

He further voiced his concerns, saying that he had conveyed his unease regarding what he described as a noticeable shift within the party’s ideology towards the right, in so doing detaching itself from its centrist liberal foundations and principles.

“Moreover, the party’s worrying move away from the centre of the political spectrum, in its embracing of right-wing tribal, religious and ultra-libertarian partners, the appointment of PR/lobbying/electoral firms with decidedly dubious pasts and the wooing of organisations like the Afrikanerbond to endorse the multi-party charter, present serious cause for concern.

“If we seek to win over voters beyond the traditional pool of DA support – necessary for growth – we would need to address many historic and emotional issues as well as evincing a rational focus.”

The DA national spokesperson, Solly Malatsi, said the party has accepted Cachalia’s resignation while asserting that it was predicated on a plethora of fabricated assertions made by Cachalia himself. Specifically, Malatsi indicated that Cachalia’s misleading interpretation of the party’s stance regarding the conflict in Gaza served as an attempt to rationalise his decision to step down.

“The DA categorically rejects the claims Cachalia has manufactured in an attempt to justify his resignation, including his mischaracterisation of the party’s position on the war in Gaza. The DA remains irrevocably committed to peace, to a two-state solution, and the creation of a sovereign and unoccupied Palestine in peaceful coexistence next to a secure Israel,” explained Malatsi.

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