'The DA is broken' - SA Twitter reacts to Maimane's resignation

2019-10-23 21:32
Athol Trollip hugs Mmusi Maimane on Wednesday. (Simon Sonnekus, Netwerk24)

Athol Trollip hugs Mmusi Maimane on Wednesday. (Simon Sonnekus, Netwerk24)

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As expected, social media delivered a wide range of verdicts of Wednesday's resignation of Mmusi Maimane as leader of the Democratic Alliance.

The former leader of the second-largest political party in South Africa announced his resignation as DA leader at a press conference in Bruma, Johannesburg.

DA federal chairperson Athol Trollip followed suit by announcing his own resignation. This comes just days after City of Johannesburg Mayor Herman Mashaba also resigned.

Maimane ascended to the position of federal leader in May 2015, when he defeated Wilmot James at the party's congress in Port Elizabeth.

One of his most vocal supporters at the time was Mashaba, who Maimane described as a "hero" when the City of Johannesburg mayor announced his resignation from the party on Monday.

Maimane succeeded Helen Zille as party leader.

Maimane has faced increasing pressure since the beginning of 2019, with the party divided over whether to include race as a key factor in its redress policies. The strength of his leadership was also questioned in a review report compiled after the DA failed to grow its support in May's national elections, News24 reported.

On Twitter, South Africans let their feelings known. At the time of writing, #MmusiMaimane, Trollip, Helen, Athol and Aunty Pat topped the trending list on the social media platform.

GOOD leader Patricia de Lille was the fastest out of the blocks of the politicians reacting. Hers was an acrimonious split from the DA last year.


Sharne Zoe, an attorney and entrepreneur called the resignation a "sad moment in South African politics". She added that it was emblematic that the "standard of competence in SA is how much you do not disturb the status quo".

Another Twitter user suggested there is a common denominator to some of the high profile departures from the blue party.

Political economy analyst, Daniel Silke, said that Maimane has learned that politics can be a "cruel game".

DA MP Phumzile Van Damme thanked Maimane for his efforts to build a united South Africa.

She also joined her fellow caucus member Luyolo Mphithi in singing the praises of Athol Trollip who joined Maimane in departure from leadership positions in the party.

Former DA head of policy, Gwen Ngwenya who earlier this year turned down a seat in Parliament, tweeted that Maimane spoke as if he was the "first black person to join the DA".

SA National Editors Forum's Deputy Chair Katy Katopodis expressed doubt that the news came as a shock to newly appointed federal council chair Helen Zille.

Ferial Haffajee called the DA "broken". She added that Zille broke it.

Khaya Dlanga speculated on the future of the now former DA leaders. 


- Compiled by Ethan Van Diemen

Read more on:    da  |  helen zille  |  athol ­trollip  |  mmusi mai­mane  |  johannesburg  |  politics

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