Citizen Reporter
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3 minute read
24 Oct 2019
10:39 am

John Steenhuisen out as DA chief whip because he was ‘appointed by’ Maimane

Citizen Reporter

'The chief whip is appointed by the leader. Since he announced his resignation from parliament, my term ends,' he said.

John Steenhuisen. Picture: Twitter

Adding to an extremely dramatic week for the Democratic Alliance (DA) culminating in the resignations of Johannesburg mayor Herman Mashaba, former leader Mmusi Maimane and former federal chairperson Athol Trollip, the party’s chief whip John Steenhuisen has confirmed that his position will come to an end alongside Maimane’s.

Steenhuisen told EWN his term as chief whip was linked to Maimane’s, meaning his term would end with the former DA leader’s.

“The chief whip is appointed by the leader. Since he announced his resignation from parliament, my term ends,” he said.

This by no mean spells the end of Steenhuisen’s career in the DA. A meeting of the party’s federal executive will be held today to decide on a way forward for the party, and Steenhuisen’s departure as chief whip could in fact lead to him earning himself a more important position, such as the new parliamentary leader, replacing Maimane.

Steenhuisen has since reacted on Twitter to those who got the wrong end of the stick and thought that the end of his term as chief whip means he’s resigning from the DA or from parliament.

“I remain a committed and determined member of the party and cause,” he said.

Earlier on Thursday, Maimane confirmed that he had 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.

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”.

Before this, on Monday, Mashaba stepped down as Johannesburg mayor effective November 27, citing the victory of Helen Zille in the race to become the party’s new federal council chairperson as his reason.

(Compiled by Daniel Friedman. Background reporting, Charles Cilliers.) 

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