Zille: Every party needs renewal

2015-04-12 14:35
(Alexander Joe, AFP)

(Alexander Joe, AFP)

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Johannesburg - DA leader Helen Zille will not stand for re-election when the party holds its federal congress next month, she announced on Sunday.

“I believe every political party needs renewal and fresh blood after a decade, no matter how well the incumbent team has performed,” she told reporters.

“There was not a single individual who pushed me. Not one. I made that decision,” she said.

She was elected DA leader on May 6, 2007. She would however complete her second term as Western Cape premier, which ends in mid-2019. She was elected to this post in May 2014.

The African National Congress reacted with indifference to the news.

“It’s her decision. We’ve got nothing to say about it,” spokesperson Zizi Kodwa said.

‘Essential for a party to grow’

Explaining her decision, she said the party had a better chance of growing its support with a new team.

“It is essential for a political party in opposition to grow in every election.

While I believe we would have carried on growing beyond our current 4 million support base in next year’s 2016 election under my continued leadership, I am convinced our prospects will be even better under a fresh team, armed with the new ‘values charter’ we will adopt and launch at congress.”

She did not want South Africa to become a “failed state” and expressed fears about the control being exercised by the current government over the judiciary and prosecuting authorities.

“As we all know, South Africa is in a race against time to save our constitution and ensure our democracy succeeds. We cannot waste a single minute or a single vote.”

She said she had seen the names of the people who intended standing for nomination for party leader, but did not know them.

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