Bonginkosi Madikizela was elected as the DA’s leader in the Western Cape in a virtual conference held on Saturday.
Madikizela is also the MEC for transport and public works in the provincial legislature.
Claims of a murder plot levelled against him surfaced days before the party’s provincial election, but were rejected as untrue by the party’s Federal Council chairperson, Helen Zille.
Albert Fritz was elected deputy leader. Fritz is the MMC for community safety in the province’s which has a DA majority.
Other positions were:
Provincial chairperson: Jaco Londt.
Provincial vice chairpersons: Jean-Pierre Smith, Grant Twigg and Geordin Hill-Lewis.
Provincial chairperson of finance: Erik Marais.
Additional members: Peter Helfrich, Carl Pophaim, Zimkitha Sulelo and Lorraine Botha.
In a speech distributed to media, Madikizela called for party unity after a difficult period.
“We have to unite as the party if we are serious about saving South Africa, and if we are serious about governing the Western Cape, and if we are serious about making sure that come 2021 we govern all of the municipalities in the Western Cape.”
“We need a stable party,” said Madikizela after a fraught few years for the DA which saw the exodus of its leader, Mmusi Maimane.
He added for a long time the party had focused internally, and some of the things were “very unpleasant”.
The focus now should be on making the party one that was attractive to the people of the Western Cape, Madikizela said.
The DA is starting to prepare for 9 December by-elections.
He added the party had a daunting task with elections coming up, and Saturday’s announcement on a further ratings downgrade which would make governing municipalities more difficult with a reduced budget.
Madikizela urged party members to be united ahead of the elections, congratulated colleagues, and said those not successful in the party’s internal elections would play an integral part in making it the government again.
The ANC in the province congratulated him, but said he should “free himself from the [Helen] Zille cabal and do the right thing”.
“As the ANC, we will support all genuine efforts to deal with inequality, unemployment and poverty in the province.”
It would also write to the speaker to ask for that.
The ANC said it still wanted a discussion into the alleged plot against the speaker, Masizole Mnqasela.
Mnqasela was running against Madikizela as DA leader.