Maimane: DA Federal Executive begin preparations for 2019 elections

2018-03-17 22:35
Democratic Alliance leader Mmusi Maimane during an interview with News24. (Screengrab)

Democratic Alliance leader Mmusi Maimane during an interview with News24. (Screengrab)

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Cape Town – The Democratic Alliance's Federal Executive met and discussed a number of issues facing the political party ahead of the 2019 elections.

DA leader, Mmusi Maimane reported that the conference, which had met over the past two days, had discussed various matters ranging from the success in finally seeing former president Jacob Zuma being brought up on charges, to dealing with matters such as the motion of no confidence against mayor Athol Trollip in Nelson Mandela Bay and the disciplinary charges faced by Cape Town mayor, Patricia de Lille.

Registration weekend a success

Maimane said the Federal Executive had received an operational report on the party's performance in last weekend's voter registration weekend.

"We were greatly encouraged by the number of DA supporters that came out on the weekend to register to vote for the DA in the 2019 election," he said.

He said the DA had near-universal coverage at the 22 000+ voting stations across the country, which reflected that the party was on track for elections.

"In next year's election, we will have universal coverage at every voting station to ensure that the elections are free and fair, and that the Electoral Commission is held to account," he said.

Maimane said while the party was still counting the results by municipality and other specific voter targets, they had very strong showings in Gauteng, Western Cape, Northern Cape and North West.

Zuma charges a victory for the party

Maimane said it was a victory for the party to have the criminal charges against Zuma reinstated after a nine-year battle.

"The charges were illegally and irrationally dropped just before the 2009 election to clear the way for Zuma to be elected President without the cloud of criminal charges over his head."

"We challenged that decision and took it on review. For 9 years Jacob Zuma and the National Prosecuting Authority (NPA) did everything possible, both legal and illegal, to delay the inevitable. Finally, late in 2017, they conceded that they had no case, which led to the announcement made yesterday," he said.

Maimane said the DA felt that the deal announced by Ramaphosa earlier this week, which guaranteed that the state would pay for Jacob Zuma's legal defence, could not have been reached lawfully.

"Our legal team has written to the President to request a copy of this agreement. We will not hesitate to challenge it if we believe it is illegitimate," he said.

"It simply cannot be acceptable for the public to keep footing the bill for Zuma's 'delay-at-all-costs' legal strategy - especially as Zuma is fighting this legal battle in his personal capacity."

"If Jacob Zuma wants to abuse legal process to avoid prison, he should be prepared to pay for it himself," he said.

"In the meantime, we look forward to the commencement of the Zuma criminal trial without any further delay. We will vigorously oppose any further delay tactics by Zuma or the state."

DA’s upcoming Federal Congress

Maimane said the executive had also discussed the upcoming Federal Congress, which is scheduled to be held on April 7 and 8, in Tshwane.

"This will be the biggest Congress in the DA's history, with over 2 000 delegates from across the country converging on Tshwane to elect the Party's Federal Leadership and to discuss a policy agenda that will form the basis of the DA's Election 2019 Manifesto," he said.

Maimane said an array of resolutions will be considered by congress, with a strong focus on tackling endemic poverty and rampant unemployment.

"Congress will consider, deliberate and vote on resolutions pertaining to the economy, healthcare, crime, housing, social grants, education, as well as on national tragedies such as Marikana and Esidimeni," he said.

Maimane said the presiding officer of Federal Congress, Anchen Dreyer (MP), would hold a press conference on Sunday, to announce nominations and to set out further details.

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Read more on:    da  |  mmusi maimane  |  cape town

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