Maimane admits to difficulties in relationship with Zille - report

2018-06-03 15:59
DA leader Mmusi Maimane.

DA leader Mmusi Maimane.

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DA leader Mmusi Maimane admitted to the Sunday Times that there has been difficulties in his relationship with Western Cape premier Helen Zille. 

He reportedly said she should have been removed from decision making structures in the party after she stepped down as leader in 2015, and then compared his situation to a pilot trying to navigate "turbulent waters", while the former pilot was in the jump seat telling one what to do. 

Zille told the newspaper, in response to Maimane's reported comments, that it was "untenable"  to keep leaders and former leaders in the same structures, that there was no problem with keeping to those structures, as long as the old leader understood their new role.

Maimane's comments come as internal problems in the party have come to the fore. 

READ: DA at a crossroads: Ideology versus growth

News24's sister publication City Press reported in May that senior DA leaders were plotting to form a breakaway "true liberal party" which they hope will contest next year's general elections.

Those leaders are reportedly angry about the direction the party is taking under Maimane's leadership, and are said to be keen on getting Zille to head the new organisation. 

However, senior DA members told the Huffington Post that the reports were not true. 

Earlier in May the  City Press reported that Maimane came under fire for his comments that "white privilege and black poverty" must be confronted, which he made during a rally in Soshanguve on Freedom Day.

At a caucus meeting, the DA’s Deputy Chief Whip Mike Waters, Chief Whip John Steenhuisen and MP Natasha Mazzone allegedly took Maimane on. The three are said to be frightened of alienating white voters ahead of next year’s crucial general election.

This has happened as the party is currently battling with Cape Town mayor Patricia De Lille. 

News24 reported last week  that the City of Cape Town council has agreed to reduce De Lille's role to "ceremonial", delegating her powers to her mayoral committee, with final oversight held by the council.

The DA said two weeks ago that De Lille, upon being reinstated to her position by the Western Cape High Court temporarily, would only serve in a ceremonial capacity.

On Monday, the court is expected to hear De Lille's challenge of the decision by the party to cease her membership. 

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Read more on:    da  |  mmusi maimane  |  helen zille  |  politics

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