DA to elect interim leader and chair on November 17

Helen Zille (Chanté Schatz, News24)
Helen Zille (Chanté Schatz, News24)

The DA's Federal Council (FedCo) will meet on November 17 to elect an interim leader and interim chairperson of the party, FedCo chair Helen Zille tweeted on Friday morning.

She also claims that they have "steadied the ship".

READ | Leaderless DA aims to have conference in April 2020

The past week saw the DA become leaderless, after Mmusi Maimane resigned as party leader, followed by Athol Trollip. Maimane also ceased being the party's parliamentary leader once he resigned as federal leader, resulting in John Steenhuisen stepping down as chief whip, because his term is tied to that of the parliamentary leader who appointed him.

"On 17 November, we have a special Federal Council to elect an interim leader and an interim chair," Zille tweeted.

"Full Congress in April 2020. In the meantime, all structures are functional and stable. Parliamentary caucus elects a new leader within a week, who will appoint a new Chief Whip."

In the meantime, Annelie Lotriet, who was elected caucus chairperson, is the interim parliamentary leader, and Jacques Julius, who was elected deputy chief whip, is the interim chief whip.

ANALYSIS | Adriaan Basson: How Helen Zille built and broke the DA

The caucus will elect its new parliamentary leader on either Tuesday or Thursday, and this person will then have the prerogative to appoint a chief whip.

Nominations for the parliamentary leader close at 20:00 on Friday. News24 understands that Steenhuisen's nomination is already submitted.

Taking a leaf from the Trump playbook, Zille also lashed out at the party's detractors in an early morning tweet.

"Amusing to see the DA's strongest ideological opponents, who never gave a fig and would never vote for us, writing heart-wrenching analyses about the terrible setback for the DA and for 'non-racialism'…" she tweeted.

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