DA dealing with objection around a second deputy to James Selfe

2018-04-08 19:30

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WATCH LIVE: DA congress - a word from the new leadership

2018-04-08 13:58

The Democratic Alliance has elected Athol Trollip to be its new federal chairperson at its federal congress in Tshwane on Sunday. The newly elected leadership will address the media shortly. Watch live. WATCH

The Democratic Alliance’s new federal executive may have been elected and announced on Sunday, but the addition of a second deputy federal council chairperson position is still up in the air.

An objection was lodged at the party's federal congress in Tshwane on Sunday just before election results were announced.

It involves an initial amendment suggestion to add a second deputy federal council chairperson position. DA MP Thomas Walters was elected as first deputy.

James Selfe - who returned unopposed as federal council chairperson - said the party has asked its legal federal commission chairperson Glynnis Breytenbach to deal with the objection.

"The constitution is very clear. It says ... the federal council shall, during congress, elect a deputy [federal council] chairperson… that was changed to two deputy [federal council] chairpersons.

"In our view and some other people’s view that was not the correct decision to take,” Selfe told News24 on the sidelines of the conference following the results announcement.

Some delegates on Sunday became frustrated during discussions, after the initial amendment suggestion - to add a second deputy post - was not dealt with prior to votes being cast on Sunday morning.

The DA's federal council had taken the decision that an appointment of a second deputy would be made after congress, during the new federal council's first sitting, were the amendment to pass.

Objecting delegates though rejected being made to vote for a position before it was formally adopted into the DA's Constitution.

Selfe however said Congress "could not tell the federal council how to do its job".

"Thomas came first so he is elected. The question is once the appeal has been determined, we will either wait for the next meeting of the federal council and elect a second deputy or the next person [on the results list would be appointed]," said Selfe.

Selfe keen on training up successors

Although some in the party still expressed some dissatisfaction with a decision by the DA’s chief whip John Steenhuisen not to contest Selfe for the position, others said it would be pointless because no one had been trained to take over a role considered critical to the running of the organisation.

Selfe said he was keen to get on with business and teach his two deputies.

“I am very keen to get into a succession plan. I cannot carry on forever, I wouldn’t want to carry on forever. What I would like to do is to school the two deputies and a wider school of people in the finer details of what the skill involves."

Refiloe Ntsekhe, the only female appointed to the DA’s top leadership is the party’s only current spokesperson.

Selfe said federal leader Mmusi Maimane, who was also elected unopposed would make some recommendations to federal council and it will appoint spokespeople to assist the deputy federal chairperson.

She is one of three who will serve in the role. When asked for her thoughts about being the only female selected by the party, Ntsekhe said she saw nothing wrong.

“I am happy to have been re-elected and it doesn’t bother me that I am the only female on the leadership panel,” she said at a briefing following the closing of the federal congress.

She said in her eyes, she was elected to serve by a diverse group of people from the party and that she wouldn’t want to be appointed only because she’s female.




Mmusi Maimane

Federal Leader

Athol Trollip

DA Federal Chairperson

Mike Waters

Deputy Federal Chairperson

Ivan Meyer

Deputy Federal Chairperson

Refiloe Ntsekhe

Deputy Federal Chairperson

Dion George

Finance Chairperson

Yusuf Cassim

Chairperson of the Democratic Alliance Youth

James Selfe

Chairperson of Federal Council

Thomas Walters

Deputy Chairperson of the Federal Council

Democratic Alliance national leadership at a glance


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