A Unisa lecturer and author says Natasha Mazzone’s comments about her father’s struggles during apartheid are an indication of white privilege in the party.
The Democratic Alliance’s (DA’s) Mazzone recently came under fire after she tweeted that her father, who arrived in South Africa from Naples, Italy “was dark, and could not speak English or Afrikaans, but he was a great chef. He built himself up from nothing to make a good life for his family. I HONOUR and thank my father.”
She faced criticism from some Twitter users and sections of the South African public for saying that her father was “dark” and had not been privileged when he came to South Africa.
In her tweets on 6 May 2018, Mazzone was responding to criticisms that some members of the DA leadership had expressed disapproval of comments on white privilege that DA leader, Mmusi Maimane had made during a Freedom Day rally in Pretoria.
Following the backlash Mazone conceded in an interview with Bongani Bingwa on Monday, 7 May on Radio 702 that she indeed is privileged because of her skin colour.
Reflecting on these events, University of South Africa (Unisa) lecturer and author, Ndumiso Dladla told Political Analysis South Africa on Wednesday, 9 May 2018, that the DA has not moved away from its foundation of being a party primarily concerned with the interest of white people.
He said Mazzone’s comments are an indication of the party’s commitment to white power.
“The language of power is misleading…whites have power,” he said.
“Whites enjoy various degrees of power in various ways…the DA as an organisation from its roots attempts to defend that power in a variety of ways,” he added.
Dladla says that even though the party may comprise of people from different races in its membership and leadership ranks, it does not mean that the white people in the party do not still enjoy more power than the rest.
“When they [DA] speak of diversity they are speaking not of a diversity of opinions or imagination but of race,” he said.
“It doesn’t matter how many Blacks or Indians or Coloureds you include in the party the point of the party…is the protection of white power…its diversity is inconsequential,” he added.