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When the Democratic Alliance did not perform as expected in the May 2019 elections; the party was looking for somebody to blame. The party lost supporters to the Freedom Front Plus and could not grow their support among urban blacks ending 2% down from its 2014 results. The spotlight was on leader Mmusi Maimane, who some in the DA believed moved closer to ANC policies supporting affirmative action and land restitution, away from their liberal democratic values. The pressure on Maimane increased when Hellen Zille was appointed as the Federal Chair of the DA. Zille’s return resulted in the resignation of Johannesburg mayor, Herman Mashaba. It seemed only a matter of time before Maimane would be the next one to go. And after keeping the media waiting for a couple of hours, Maimane emerged to announce that he was quitting as leader. His resignation had a domino effect with Athol Trollip, the former mayor of Nelson Mandela Bay and the party chairperson who put himself up for the position of the Fedex Chair but lost to Zille, announcing shortly after that he was also quitting. The DA finds itself in a difficult position as the party chairperson normally takes over the leadership of the party while a new leader is elected. But as Trollip, the party chairperson also resigned, the DA is now leaderless. It will hold a special meeting of its federal executive council tomorrow to decide on the way forward. – Linda van Tilburg
Helen Zille ‘shocked’ by Maimane and other resignations
Helen Zille’s return to the Democratic Alliance was always going to be contentious. Known for her controversial tweets about colonialism, she stepped aside as leader of the DA to make way for Mmusi Maimane. But she was never far from the spotlight and became known for her tempestuous relationships with other prominent figures in the party in her position as Premier of the Western Cape. When she announced that she will go for the position of the chair of the Federal Executive Council of the DA; there were fears that it would be the end of the leadership of Mmusi Maimane. The first person to resign after she beat Athol Trollip for the position of chair was Herman Mashaba, the Johannesburg mayor. This was followed today by Maimane who said that he had reached the end of the road as leader of the DA, and at the same media conference party chairman, Trollip decided to follow and also announced that he will quit. Zille who did not want to take any questions from the media and just said that she was shocked. – Linda van Tilburg
Cyril Ramaphosa: The Audio Biography
Listen to the story of Cyril Ramaphosa's rise to presidential power, narrated by our very own Alec Hogg.