Zille hails DA’s bright new media face

2011-12-14 00:00

“THE average age is getting younger and younger, and the average IQ higher and higher,” Democratic Alliance leader Helen Zille said yesterday in announcing the appointment of the party’s new spokesperson.

Mmusi Maimane, the DA’s candidate for Johannesburg mayor in the May elections, replaces Lindiwe Mazibuko after she was elected parliamentary leader.

Zille said Maimane, who is also a businessman, showed his mettle in public debates during the municipal elections in May and convinced his colleagues of his ability.

She said the job of spokesperson was not an easy one.

“They have to be available at all times and make sure they are on top of every statement and internal debate within the ANC.

“They have to have a media-friendly and approachable face.”

The party’s national chair, Wilmot James, praised Mai­mane’s sophistication and eloquence.

Maimane said the appointment was a great privilege and he accepted the role with a feeling of intimidation.

“It makes me a part of the unbelievable journey the party is on. I’m looking forward to the challenges.

“My predecessors are people to be reckoned with.

“I look at Lindiwe, who has already walked this road, and I can learn a great deal from her,” he said.

Maimane, leader of the DA caucus in Johannesburg, apparently insisted on a better offer before agreeing to take the job.

“Councillors get allowances. Before I could take a full-time position, there were certain discussions,” he told Beeld.

He said he was a businessman, but it wasn’t about the money, rather about his passion for the job. “If I had to do the job for free, I would still have taken it on,” he said.

Although the DA’s head office is in Cape Town, Maimane will remain in Johannesburg and fulfil his role as caucus leader.

He said he was convinced he could do both jobs justice.

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