Zille asks James Selfe to lead DA caucus

2014-05-18 15:01

Multimedia   ·   User Galleries   ·   News in Pictures Send us your pictures  ·  Send us your stories

DA leader Helen Zille has asked James Selfe, the chairperson of the party’s federal caucus, to run as caucus leader in Parliament.

Selfe declined the request, but the fact that Zille even approached him signals an apparent about-turn by the leader who has until now been seen to be backing party spokesperson Mmusi Maimane for the position.

Maimane will become an MP for the first time this week, but two leaders who attended the federal executive meeting in Joburg on Friday said they were told Zille approached Selfe because she felt Maimane needed to learn the ropes in Parliament first.

“It would have been an interim measure for a year or so, until Mmusi has settled in,” said one.

Selfe confirmed that Zille asked if he was available to stand for caucus leader on May 29, but he declined.

“I gave it some thought and I decided that my duty as chair of federal council was sufficiently complicated. I don’t think I could do justice to the parliamentary leadership.

“I don’t think there is a question of someone serving until Mmusi is ready, but there is a big caucus and you need time for the caucus to settle down.

“Many of the people are new to the caucus and to Parliament and there was a feeling that we should look at more experienced people to lead,” he said. Selfe has been in Parliament for 20 years.

Maimane did not respond to calls.

Zille said last night that she did not want to talk about caucus affairs in public.

“I always try to consider what is in the best interest of the party and the caucus,” she said, confirming she had asked “various people” to make themselves available, but declined to mention names. “I always want to encourage contestation. We don’t want a coronation,” she said.

Join the conversation!

24.com 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.

24.com 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 24.com 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.