The concept of the big lie was developed and perfected by Joseph Goebels the chief propagandist of Adolf Hitler and the Nazis.

The concept encompasses the principle that “if you tell a lie that is big enough and if you repeat it often enough people will come to believe it”


The ANC leaders and propagandists perpetuate THE LIE that the ANC is the first and longest existing non-racial political organisation in South Africa and that they are solely responsible for liberating South Africa and developing and promoting its liberal democratic constitution.

To support THE LIE they repeat the claim that the Official opposition Democratic Alliance, it’s predecessor parties, members and leaders supported apartheid which they would reintroduce when they get into power.


An analysis of the facts and the political history of South Africa reveal these FACTS:


ANC membership was always through the racially defined Congress Movements and was not open to South Africans of all races until 1969 Mororgoro Conference opened the membership of the external wing to all races.

Only in 1979 did the January 8 ANC statement extended this to the party’s internal wing and whites were only permitted to serve on the NEC in 1985.

The Progressive Party membership was open to all races from it’s inception in 1959 until it was made illegal by the apartheid government in 1966. As soon as it was possible membership was once again reopened.


In 1959, a small group of 11 Members of Parliament broke away from the United Party to form the Progressive Party to oppose apartheid and fight for a democratic South Africa.

Jan Steytler, the first leader of the Progressives, defined the new party’s vision “Colour and colour alone should not be the yardstick by which people are judged. We consider that all South Africans should be given the opportunity to make a contribution to the political and economic life of our country. We want to face the future, not with fear but with confidence that we can live together in harmony in a multi-racial country.”

This was the birth of the Party that has become the Democratic Alliance. The Progressive Party was founded on the values the DA still champions today.


The current and prior DA and predecessor party Leaders were all well known opponents of apartheid:

Helen Zille was an anti-apartheid activist who exposed the truth about Steve Biko’s murder and hid ANC activists at her house.

Federal Chairperson, Wilmot James, became politically active at the University of the Western Cape in 1972 when he joined the South Africa Students Organisation, an anti-apartheid black consciousness movement.

Retired Federal Chairperson, Joe Seremane, earliest political activities start at the 1952 with the defiance campaign, at the age of 14. since that first act of defiance, Joe was committed to fighting apartheid with everything he had. In 1963, when he was just 22 years old, he was captured by the security police and was charged with ‘furthering the objectives of a banned organisation’ – the PAC. They sent him to Robben Island for 6 years for that.

Patricia de Lille, DA Mayor of Cape Town, began work in a paint factory and became a trade union leader. She started out as a shop steward for the South African Chemical Workers’ Union or SACWU. Soon became SACWU’s regional secretary, and later a member of its National Executive Committee. of SACWU. When the PAC and other political organisations were unbanned in 1990, Patricia led the PAC delegation at the CODESA negotiations.

The newest DA recruit Nosimo Balindlela, the former ANC Premier of the Eastern Cape, first became involved in the struggle against apartheid at the University of Fort Hare. She joined the United Democratic Front when it was formed, and her political activism led to her dismissal from many of the schools at which she worked. And then she rose through the ranks in the ANC to become, first a leader of the Women’s League and later the Provincial Premier.


Since the Party’s inception in 1959 the Progressive Party and its’ successor parties have been led by liberal icons:

Helen Suzman was, for 13 years, the only Progressive Party candidate elected to Parliament. She was the only MP who consistently and relentlessly fought against every apartheid measure the National Party sought to entrench in law.

Political giants like Colin Eglin, Ray Swart and Frederik van Zyl Slabbert made enormous contributions to our freedom. They all played a crucial role in building an enduring and sustainable institutional legacy for the open, opportunity society for all through the DA’s predecessor parties.

Tony Leon,  took the Democratic Party from a ‘desolate shack’, as a Business Day editorial described the party in 1995, with 1.7% of the vote, and grew it into the single most viable opposition force in the country, with 12.3% of the vote in 2004.

Less well remembered is the critical role played by the likes of Harry Lawrence and Jan Steytler. Steytler, who is perhaps South Africa’s most overlooked great politician, was the first leader of the Progressives.

Over the years many South Africans made personal sacrifices against the tide of opinion in their communities by standing for the Progressive Party and its successor  parties eg; ME Barry, Virginia 1970 & 1974; JF Curtis, Virginia 1966; WA Paterson, Rustenburg 1977; SG Strydom, Vereeniging 1972;


The ANC did not always provide the only, or even the most important, opposition to segregation and apartheid. It was eclipsed by:

Organisations such as the Industrial and Commercial Union in the 1920s; the All African Convention in the mid-1930s; the Pan Africanist Congress in the early 1960s; the Black Consciousness Movement in the 1970s; and the United Democratic Front (UDF) in the 1980s.

Outside of Parliament, the Liberal Party of the 1950s and 1960s, whose leading figures were Alan Paton and Peter Brown, championed the values that the DA support today.

 During the National Convention 1908/09, which laid the groundwork for Union, people like J.W Sauer and F.S Malan, John X. Merriman, Walter Stanford and William Schreiner fought hard but unsuccessfully to extend the non-racial franchise beyond the Cape.

Schreiner led a delegation to London to lobby against the passing of the South Africa Act in 1909 on the grounds of its discriminatory franchise provisions.

 During the 1930’s, Jan Hendrik Hofmeyr, was the most vocal parliamentary critic of Prime Minister J.B.M Hertzog’s segregationist legislation in the 1930s.


The DA and its predecessors opposed all apartheid legislation including:

Bantu education Act. Parliament in 1953 as UP members;
Seperate Amenities Act. Parliament in 1953 – H. Suzman walked out of the house in protest;
Western Areas Removal Scheme 1954 removed black & coloured people from Sophiatown. Parliament in 1953 as UP members;
Bantu Laws Ammendment 1964 – Removal of Black Section 10(1)10 urban rights; Parliament 25 February 1964
Group Areas Act
All Acts of Parliament that infringed on the rights of
the individual.

Although neither the DA nor its predecessors had the numbers in parliament to block these laws their relentless opposition to them shone an international spotlight on the atrocities of apartheid and helped mobilise support for anti-apartheid campaigns, throughout the world.

LIE – The ANC were the only ones who played a role in the liberation of South Africal

FACT – That DA and others also played important roles

LIE – The DA supported apartheid and wants to reintroduce it in South Africa

Clive Hatch

About Clive Hatch

Clive Hatch is a political commentator and opinionist. He is a former Member and Leader of the Opposition in the Mpumalanga Provincial Legislature. After matriculating from Jeppe High School for Boys in 1967 Clive Hatch has lived, worked and been involved in the Emalahleni (Witbank) community.

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