Maimane elected new DA leader

Port Elizabeth - Democratic Alliance parliamentary leader Mmusi Maimane was elected as the new head of the opposition party at the party’s congress in Port Elizabeth on Sunday.

“Your new leader is Mmusi Maimane” said outgoing federal leader Helen Zille.

Maimane is the first black leader of the opposition party, that garnered 22.23% of the national vote in last year’s elections.

The federal leadership position was contested by Maimane, outgoing federal chair Wilmot James and two other members, Adrian Naidoo and Morgan Oliphant. 

While waiting for the announcement, the crowd had chanted ''Mmusi, Mmusi''.

Also announced at the federal congress, held over the weekend at the Boardwalk conference centre, were the appointments to the federal council, three deputy federal chairpersons and the federal chairperson result.

They were: Federal chair of finance Alf Lees, with deputy chair of federal council Thomas Walters. Third deputy chair was Desiree van der Walt, second deputy chair was Refiloe Ntsekhe and the first federal deputy chairperson was Ivan Meyer.

The crowd chanted ''Meyer, Meyer'' at this.

Atholl Trollip was announced as the federal chairperson.

On April 12, Zille announced that she would not seek re-election as party leader at the congress, after eight years at the helm.

At the time, Zille said she would continue as Western Cape Premier until the end of her term in mid-2019.

Before the announcement was made, tension mounted as the party named Gauteng as its best performing province and Zille as the best fundraiser in the DA.

Zille accepted the acknowledgement by singing along to Brenda Fassie's ''Vulindlela''.

''That is the last time you have to hear me sing,'' said Zille, who thanked the party's organisers for their work.

Leading up to the announcement Convener Greg Krumbock said: ''We have showed South Africa and the world how internal elections should happen.''

There were no disputes and all candidates and agents signed off on the results.

He quipped that ''no chairs were broken but we did break plenty of records''.
Presiding officer Penny Tainton thanked all the candidates.

Tainton said 93% of delegates cast their vote.

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