by Siviwe Zibi
After five years as a leader of Democratic Alliance Mmusi Maimane has downed the tools, Maimane told the members of the media on Tuesday afternoon that he is resigning as the DA leader. He was also expected to continue his role as parliamentary leader until the end of the year, after which the party was going to go congress to elect new leadership. This comes after intense speculation about his future weighed heavily on the party.
Maimane also resigned this morning, 24 October from his role as the leader of the DA in parliament.
I have worked tirelessly to build the project of One SA for All. It’s been my greatest honour to serve the people of SA and will continue to do so. I have today resigned from the DA and Parliament. Thank you to the people of this country for your faith in our nation. God bless SA
— Mmusi Maimane (@MmusiMaimane) October 24, 2019
After waiting for close to five hours, the media was finally addressed yesterday around 18:00 where Mmusi expressed that he will not be staying as the leader of the DA saying that the DA is not the best vehicle to take forward the vision of one South Africa.
“I am not a career politician, and I have never sought to be. I have always only been driven by a vision to build a united, prosperous and reconciled South Africa where all citizens have a fair shot in life and where the colour of your skin does not determine your future prospects”.
“In order to do so, it was crucial that the DA evolved and transformed into a party that all South Africans could call home. A truly South African party at the centre of our politics. During my tenure as DA leader, I relentlessly sought to grow the party amongst all South Africans but specifically black South Africans. I fundamentally believed that if the DA was to become a party of government, it needed to look and feel like a party for all, not some. It needed to belong to all South Africans” said Maimane. “I wish to thank each and every DA member, activist, public representative and staff member of the DA for giving your all and working tirelessly each and every day” he concluded.
Democratic Alliance federal chairperson Athol Trollip has also resigned, he took the podium and said There is a time to come and a time to go. “I realise that this weekend that it is my time to go. I am not going to critisise my political party. I know that new leadership will emerge.”
An honor to work with Mmusi and Athol over many years. Thank you for your leadership, commitment and dedication to the cause. We must work to continue the project. As Ted Kennedy said “the work goes on, the cause endures, the hope still lives, and the dream shall never die.
— John Steenhuisen MP (@jsteenhuisen) October 23, 2019
The party’s chief whip John Steenhuisen also resigned today with Maimane after wishing Trollip and Maimane well and hinting at them possibly reuniting in the future.
Steenhuisen said that his term as the chief whip for the DA was linked to DA leader Maimane as Maimane is the one that appointed him in the first place but he went to twitter to clarify his exit from the party.
Let me be clear: I have NOT resigned from the @Our_DA or Parliament. The Leader of the party appoints the Chief Whip. With Mmusi’s resignation from Parliament my term as Chief Whip ends. I remain a committed and determined member of the party and cause.
— John Steenhuisen MP (@jsteenhuisen) October 24, 2019
Seemingly, there is a trouble in paradise in the DA, Maimane,Trollip’s departure follows the resignation of Joburg Mayor Herman Mashaba on Monday (21 October). Mashaba resigned following Zille’s election as the chairperson of the DA federal council. Mashaba said Zille’s election signalled a win for a faction in the party that had values he could not align with.
Helen Zille has expressed disappointment and she said they are taking legal advice and the party did not want to rush into decisions. The party’s FedEx was expected to meet today to discuss and come up with a person that was meant to replace Maimane. there was also speculation that he may be sacked at the meeting.
She paid tribute to the outgoing Maimane and Trollip.