Thursday 17 June 2021
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DTA meet with DA in SA

DTA of Namibia recently met with its South African counterparts, the Democratic Alliance(DA), in Cape Town in its quest to “strengthen international ties and benchmark with other opposition parties”.
Both DA and DTA are the official opposition parties in their respective countries, the duo have been struggling for decades to wrestle power through the polls from liberation movements in South Africa and Namibia-African National Congress and Swapo Party respectively.
The visit formed part of DTA’s plans to strengthen its international relations with opposition parties in other countries and to gain exposure on the global political arena, DTA National Chairperson Jennifer van der Heever has revealed.
Speaking to The Patriot during a brief interview after the visit, van der Heever described the visit as a “success”.
“The aim of the visit was to strengthen international relations with other opposition parties and benchmarking relations within the political fraternity.
“We want to see if we can also expose our party to the international political arena because we are busy working on our growth. We have a big vision for this party and we need to strengthen relations outside the country as well,” she said.
The DTA delegation was comprised of van der Heever, secretary for international relations Vipuakuje Muharukua and Elma Deinda who serves as the party’s secretary for education.
During the visit, DTA held discussions with DA’s Secretary for International Relations Stevens Mokgalapa and Cape Town’s Deputy Mayor Ian Neilson.The fact that DTA chose to link up with South Africa’s DA which is considered to predominantly “white party” has drawn criticism from various sectors of the society.
The DTA of Namibia, formally known as the Democratic Turnhalle Alliance was labelled as a pro-Apartheid party before Namibia’s Independence, but post-Independence the party’s leadership has adopted all measures to change its identity.
Historical records show that the DTA came into existence in November 1977 as a result of the Turnhalle Constitutional Conference which was held from 1975 to 1977 orchestrated by the South African.
The conference in its crudest form was meant to counterbalance the Swapo Party, which was seen as the main threat to white colonial rule in South West Africa, present day Namibia.
As a result, DTA’s past affiliation with the apartheid government regime continues to affect its current public image and appeal in post-independent Namibia.
When asked what she made of the criticism, van der Heever said: “The perception out there is confusing the society and we really want to get rid of these tribal lines. The DA is very much liberal and we are centre-right but because of the successes that some of these parties are having, we want to have that relationship and see what we can learn from them.”
She added: “The perception that the party (DA) is predominantly black or white is wrong. We are labelled the same here (in Namibia) that we are predominantly Herero. I am not a Herero but I am the chairperson of the party. We need to educate the people and get rid of this perception. They (DA) have a nice success story and the way they are governing the cities under their control is impressive. We can learn from them, that is what we want to do.”
She further added that DTA has programmes and mechanisms underway to educate Namibians about the values, objectives and principles of the party.
This is an attempt by DTA to put to bed the “stigmatisation” that has marred and continues to link the party to the apartheid government, 27 years after independence, van der Heever stated.
“I don’t think that one still has to sit with that stigmatization. The secretary for international relation is busy with some proposals.
“We also want to work with other foundations to see whether they can assist us in capacity building and training especially for our youth league and women’s league,” she concluded.

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