The DA’s parliamentary caucus will hold an election next week to choose its new parliamentary leader after Mmusi Maimane resigned on Thursday, said DA caucus chairperson and acting parliamentary leader Annelie Lotriet.
Lotriet was speaking on Thursday morning after the DA held a brief caucus meeting.
She said since the chief whip was appointed by the parliamentary leader, current chief whip John Steenhuisen had to step down.
“It is just because he is appointed by the parliamentary leader, and because Mr Maimane is no longer the parliamentary leader, John [Steenhuisen] automatically had to step down,” she explained.
As caucus chairperson, Lotriet is the acting parliamentary leader until Tuesday’s election of the new parliamentary leader.
“We’ll have an election for parliamentary leader next week, and it is then the prerogative of the parliamentary leader to appoint a chief whip.
Asked about the mood of the meeting, Lotriet said: “It was initially a bit muted because I think people are still reeling a little bit after yesterday’s announcements.
“So, I explained the processes and everybody understands them and I think we’re now all on board and we’ll steady the ship.”
Earlier, Steenhuisen said his term as party chief whip ended with Maimane’s resignation.
Steenhuisen took to Twitter to clarify that he had not resigned from the position: “Let me be clear: I have NOT resigned from the @Our_DA or Parliament.”
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
“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.”
Deputy chief whip Jacques Julius would be acting chief whip in the interim, Mail and Guardian reported.