DA elects new caucus leadership, Mike Waters won't return as deputy chief whip

2019-05-30 14:28
DA leader Mmusi Maimane. (Jan Gerber, News24)

DA leader Mmusi Maimane. (Jan Gerber, News24)

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Mike Waters, who was the DA deputy chief whip in the 5th Parliament, will not return to the position for the next parliamentary term, after he lost the DA caucus' leadership election to Jacques Julius.

The DA elected its caucus leadership on Thursday morning.

As DA leader, Mmusi Maimane is automatically the leader of the party in Parliament, with the right to appoint his chief whip. Last week, he announced that John Steenhuisen would again fulfill this role.

After Thursday morning's election, it will be Julius who takes the seat next to Steenhuisen in the National Assembly, in the only surprise outcome. Julius served in the National Council of Provinces in the previous administration, but has now been elected to the National Assembly.

Annelie Lotriet will be the caucus chairperson, taking over from Anchen Dreyer, who retired after the 5th Parliament. Lotriet was elected above Alf Lees.

Her deputy will be Haniff Hoosen, who was preferred over Desirée van der Walt.

Chris Hunsinger will be the caucus treasurer. The position was uncontested.

Cathy Labuschagne will again be the party's leader in the NCOP, after defeating Jaco Londt.

The whips will be Natasha Mazzone, Phumzile van Damme, Erik Marais, Solly Malatsi, Geordin Hill-Lewis, James Lorimer, Chris Hunsinger, Darren Bergman, Nomsa Tarabella Marchesi, Annette Steyn, Willem Faber, and Patricia Kopane.

'When Parliament works, South Africa works'

Steenhuisen said the DA parliamentary caucus would work tirelessly to ensure that Parliament "effectively and efficiently plays its role in upholding the rule of law, works for the people, and exercises its oversight and accountability authority without fear or favour".

"When Parliament works, South Africa works," he said in a statement.

Steenhuisen added that they would not oppose and critique for the sake of it, but would be a constructive opposition. 

"It will be this fine leadership team that will actively engage with Parliament's Office-Bearers, led by Speaker Thandi Modise, to ensure that the legislative arm of the State is indeed a place that works for the people.

"The reality is that South Africa is in trouble. Our economy has stagnated and policy uncertainty means that Parliament must focus on passing legislation that benefits the country and that we vigorously debate the real issues facing South Africans."

He said the National Assembly, National Council of Province and parliamentary committee rooms were no place to trade insults. 

"The DA in Parliament is ready to hit the ground running. In the coming days, the DA Leader will appoint a Shadow Cabinet. We will also table the 'Jobs Bill', push for the establishment of a Standing Committee on the Presidency, establish a 'Caucus of the Opposition', and seek regular engagement with Leader of Government Business," Steenhuisen said. 

"The DA's takes its role as Official Opposition seriously. We will not only fight for the interests of those who voted for us, but we will continue to work to build One South Africa for All." 

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