Former Democratic Alliance (DA) leader Mmusi Maimane has confirmed that he has resigned from both parliament and the party, following his announcement on Wednesday that he would be stepping down as DA leader.
“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,” he tweeted on Thursday morning.
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
Maimane said on Wednesday he would remain as the leader of the opposition in parliament until the end of the year, if the party would allow that. He added that there should be an early elective congress.
However, it was unlikely that he wouldn’t have faced strong opposition to his continued tenure in the National Assembly, since it’s understood the party’s parliamentary caucus, and his numerous critics in the party at large, were left fuming at what he said during his resignation speech. News24 reported that his words were met with “widespread indignation”.
Maimane hit back at his critics in the party during his resignation address on Wednesday in Bruma, Johannesburg, when he slammed the party’s approach to diversity and nonracialism, saying that “in the end we have come to the conclusion that despite my best efforts, the DA is not the vehicle best suited to take forward the vision of building one South Africa for all”.
Federal chairperson Athol Trollip, who lost the federal executive chairperson race in the party to Helen Zille, also resigned from his position on Wednesday, leaving a leadership vacuum in the party.
Zille said after Maimane’s address that she had asked both men to remain in their positions until the party could organise an early elective congress, by April at best, but they had refused.
The DA’s spokesperson, Solly Malatsi, confirmed the party’s constitution had never foreseen a situation where both the federal chairperson and party leader resigned from their positions at the same time.
He said an urgent meeting of the federal executive would be held on Thursday to decide on how to deal with the “leadership vacuum”.
Zille is currently the nominal leader since she appears to be the most senior party official left standing.
There will be meeting of the federal executive at 10am to decide on the way forward. Chief whip John Steenhuisen will be Maimane’s most likely replacement in parliament. He confirmed earlier on Thursday that with Maimane resigning from parliament his term as whip would also come to an end, as he was appointed by the former DA leader.
(Compiled by Charles Cilliers)