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Nomsa Marchesi on why she left the DA

Sameera Casmod |
17 August 2023 | 10:00am SAST
2 min read

Former Democratic Alliance (DA) Member of Parliament Nomsa Marchesi has announced her departure from the party and her decision to join the newly established Rise Mzansi. The move comes after nine years as an official opposition MP, during which Marchesi served on the Portfolio Committee on Police, Women, Youth and People with Disabilities.

In an interview with Radio Islam International, Marchesi discussed her reasons for joining the DA back in 2013. She cited her belief that the party was headed in the right direction and was actively striving to be more inclusive, with a vision of attracting diverse South African voters. She referred to a time when leaders like Lindiwe Mazibuko and Mmusi Maimane were prominent within the DA, working towards greater diversity and cooperation.

However, Marchesi highlighted a significant change in the party’s trajectory over time. She pointed to an “exodus of many black leaders” leaving the DA, indicating that the party struggled to connect with and appeal to a majority of South African voters. She raised concerns about the party’s ability to resonate with voters and noted a perceived lack of empathy.

The leadership transition within the DA, along with a perceived focus on consolidating the base of white, coloured, and Indian voters, led Marchesi to reflect on her role within the party. She emphasised her initial intention to attract black South Africans and contribute to a more diverse and dominant political force capable of changing the country’s trajectory.

When questioned about her departure, Marchesi clarified that she wasn’t pushed out of the DA but rather made the decision based on the country’s direction and her own belief in contributing effectively. She expressed concern that the DA’s message script had changed, making it challenging for her to bring new voters to the party.

Marchesi’s decision to join Rise Mzansi was driven by a shared focus on inclusivity and empowerment. She praised the party’s origins as an NGO centred on young people and skill empowerment. Marchesi believes that the organisation aligns with her values of putting people at the forefront and addressing issues of poverty and unemployment.

Addressing whether the DA attempted to retain her, Marchesi stated that there was no effort made, partly due to her immediate resignation. She indicated that she had been contemplating her departure for some time, leading her to the conclusion that her time with the DA had come to an end.

As she embarks on her new journey with Rise Mzansi, Marchesi expressed enthusiasm about working with a team that stands for pertinent issues within the country and is committed to making a difference in the lives of South Africans.

Listen to the full interview on Sabaahul Muslim with Moulana Sulaiman Ravat here.


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