James uses own money to fund DA campaign

2015-04-29 18:10

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Johannesburg – The DA's Wilmot James has announced that he will be putting R100 000 of his own money into funding his campaign to become the party's new federal leader.

James, who made his campaign finances public on Wednesday, said he had so far spent R75 311.64.

"I have decided, in the interest of transparency, to make a full public disclosure about how my campaign to be elected as federal leader of the Democratic Alliance is financed," he said in a statement.

However, if the cost of the campaign exceeds R100 000, James said it would be necessary to raise money through donors.

James will be going head-to-head with DA parliamentary leader Mmusi Maimane for the top job at next month's federal congress.

The two have only had a short time to campaign, following current leader Helen Zille's announcement that she would not be standing for re-election in Port Elizabeth on May 9 and 10.

James announced six days ago that he would accept nomination for the position.

There has been speculation that Maimane was the front runner for the job, however, DA MP David Maynier, who is leading James's campaign told News24 that election day at the congress was going to be "highly competitive".

"Wilmot is mounting an excellent campaign against Athol Trollip and Mmusi Maimane," he said.

"We are working hard, our campaign is going well and we think we going to be very competitive at the congress."

Trollip, who is standing for DA federal chairperson, has publically endorsed Maimane to take the top job.

A number of DA public representatives have made their endorsement of Maimane public.

These included DA Western Cape leader Patricia De Lille, the party's Gauteng legislature Chief Whip Mike Moriarty, Gauteng chairperson Solly Msimanga, and MPs Glynnis Breytenbach, Dion George, Marius Redelinghuys, Anchen Dreyer, Thomas Walters and Bridget Masango.

Maynier said James's campaign would make its endorsements known at a later stage.

"We are campaigning externally and internally. We've introduced out candidate, [and] we've put out our mini-manifesto," he said.

"We are communicating internally with the party and doing canvassing calls in all nine provinces, and we are preparing to roll out our own endorsements in the last phase of the campaign."

James's campaign has been called "ready to lead".


In his mini-manifesto the federal chairperson talks about a new direction for the party.

"Today our party is the only party able to realise the dream of 20 years ago, that we would take care of our children, never allow them to go hungry, protect their health, advance their education, and never expose them to harm," James said in the manifesto.

"To realise this dream, our party needs a new direction and for that reason I will be spending the next two weeks interacting with you about my vision for the future of our party..."

This vision included how the party could become:

- A principled party,

- A unified party,

- A growing party,

- A party of new ideas,

- A fully-funded party and

- A winning party.

There seem to be quite a few differences in the way James and Maimane were running the campaigns, with the younger of the two using social media extensively. James's campaign seems to have less of a social media presence.

The Maimane campaign kicked off with a call on social media for brand ambassadors who would help drive his message.

People who wanted to be ambassadors called on those who wanted to help the campaign online to update their Facebook cover photos and Twitter headers with attached artwork designed specifically for Maimane's campaign.

Maimane is running his campaign under the theme "Believe in Tomorrow".

Read more on:    da  |  wilmot james  |  cape town  |  politics

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