Home NewsAsia Gaza Genocide a ‘Moral Test’ – Sammy Claassen On Resignation From DA

Gaza Genocide a ‘Moral Test’ – Sammy Claassen On Resignation From DA

by Zahid Jadwat

Saldanha Bay councillor Sammy Claassen quit the DA amid the ongoing genocide in Gaza. [Picture: Henk Kruger/African News Agency (ANA) Archives]


“It’s really a big moral test for the world, in particular for us in South Africa.”

Sammy Claassen, a former Democratic Alliance (DA) member and councillor, spoke to Salaamedia following his widely-applauded resignation from the libertarian party. Commenting on the ongoing genocide in Gaza and the brutalities in the Occupied West Bank by Israel, Claassen spoke frankly.

His resignation came after Ghalieb Cachalia, a senior DA member of parliament, walked away over the party’s stance on the genocide.

Upon tendering his immediate resignation last week, Claassen claimed the party barred members and public representatives from voicing their opinion on the issue.

“This was a big problem and I could no longer suppress my consciousness, political awareness and moral obligation to speak out against the killing and deadly bombings in Palestine that killed about 11 000 children, 7000 women and about 27 000 people in Palestine,” he wrote.


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Claassen quits 

Describing the genocide as a “moral test” for people the world over, Claassen reflected that the struggle of the Palestinians ought to be shared by South Africans.

“Our own struggle in South Africa was a struggle against discrimination on the basis of race, ethnicity and religion; a struggle that defeated apartheid. The Palestinian peoples’ and our struggle are intertwined because the struggle in Palestine is also a struggle for freedom.”

He said remaining silent on the matter meant condoning the genocide that was unfolding since October.

“It is public knowledge that all its public representatives and its broader membership are not allowed to speak out. My resignation comes because I was also confronted with the moral conscience that keep [sic] on pressing me to voice my opinion.”

Meanwhile, the DA’s federal leader, John Steenhuisen has indicated those who did not agree with the party line were free to leave if they wished. The party’s official position is for an end to hostilities and a two-state solution, something experts believe is non-viable.

“People must respect the party position and defend the party position and if they don’t want to do that, they are free to leave,” he said, adding there was space for dissent within party structures.

Claassen joined the DA in April 2023 after jumping ship from the Patriotic Alliance (PA). At the time, he was among eight opposition councillors and members in Saldanha Bay, Western Cape, who ditched their political homes for the libertarian party.

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