DA is not a monarchy - James

2015-05-09 09:51
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DA delegates arrive for federal congress

The DA will elect a new party leader this weekend at the party's federal congress in Port Elizabeth. View pictures of the party's elective conference here.

Port Elizabeth - The DA is not a monarchy where a successor to a leader can automatically assume power, party leader candidate Wilmot James said on Saturday.

"I was willing to commit my own money to fund my campaign. You can't just walk into this job - the DA is not a monarchy," he told News24 at the party's congress in Port Elizabeth.

James was referring to his recent revelation of the costs of his campaign. On Friday he called on his opposition candidate for leader Mmusi Maimane and Eastern Cape leader Athol Trollip, who is looking to succeed James as party chairperson, to do the same.

"I made this call because I believe in transparency," he said.

James said party donors often did not want their details to be divulged because they said they "could be intimidated by the ANC".

"But this is not about party finances, this is about revealing the details of donors for campaign finances."

Own savings

James, in a statement on Friday, gave his own income as at April 29 this year as R104 354.04. He gave the same figure for his campaign finances.

“I expect the total cost of my campaign will be approximately R150 000 and have therefore put an additional R50 000 of my own savings into my campaign.

"It has not been necessary for me to use any donor income at this stage of my campaign," he said in the statement.

If he needed donors he would make public their names and how much they had given him, and declare this to the party and Parliament's register of members’ interests.

Maimane, who is the party's parliamentary leader, said earlier in the week that he had complied with all internal protocols regarding donors.

"He [James] is depending on me to give him media coverage," he said.

"Eighty-four percent of the caucus is fully supportive of my campaign. We are focused on a positive campaign. We will be pulling out the numbers [on Sunday] and we will be victorious."


Trollip, who is the party's leader in the Eastern Cape, told News24 on Friday that James was being disingenuous.

"He is panicking and wants to change the rules of the game in injury time."

He said he had complied with the party's rules and declared his finances to the party's federal executive chairperson James Selfe.

"I won't be entertaining his political stunt. I will comply with the rules of the game."

DA members will elect new leaders - including a replacement for Helen Zille, who announced on April 12 that she would not stand for re-election, on Sunday.

Read more on:    da  |  mmusi maimane  |  wilmot james  |  port elizabeth  |  politics

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