Knives are out for Zille in DA

2012-08-11 15:52

DA lobbyists unhappy with party leader Helen Zille have hatched a long-term plot to topple her.

But they admit she’s safe for now because they need “brand Zille” for the 2014 general elections.

The lobbyists want to put up challengers to two of Zille’s right-hand men, federal executive chairman James Selfe and federal chairman Wilmot James, at the party’s congress in November.

They hope that having leaders in Zille’s inner circle sympathetic to them will lessen the chances of her simply “anointing” her successor come the party’s 2015 congress.

A lobbyist who did not want to be named said DA MP Athol Trollip, ousted as chairman of the parliamentary caucus by Lindiwe Mazibuko during bruising caucus mid-term elections last year, had been asked to oppose Selfe.

DA MP Masizole Mnqasela, who supported Trollip at this time, was set to challenge James, the lobbyist said. Trollip said: “I have had all sorts of approaches but I haven’t made up my mind yet”.

Mnqasela said: “If I am named I will accept but the process hasn’t started yet.”

He was recently forced by the party to apologise to Zille after a spat during the caucus elections campaign.

The challenge to Zille comes amid unhappiness about the way decisions are taken in the party.

An MP said some in the parliamentary caucus were unhappy that the DA’s jobs and growth plan, which was driven by James as the party’s policy head, wasn’t shown to them before it was launched.

These people had “boycotted” last month’s launch rally in Pretoria, the MP said.

Selfe said the committee responsible for organising the congress was set to meet this week to draw up plans, which would then be submitted to the federal executive committee in September.

He said the party had not yet decided when to open nominations for positions.

Zille confirmed that she would make herself available for re-election in November. “The context can change. New leadership may emerge that can potentially take the party further,” she said.

Join the conversation! encourages commentary submitted via MyNews24. Contributions of 200 words or more will be considered for publication.

We reserve editorial discretion to decide what will be published.
Read our comments policy for guidelines on contributions. publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
Comments have been closed for this article.

Inside News24

Traffic Alerts
There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.


Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.

Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire network.


Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.

Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.