DA appoints two spokespersons to replace Maimane
The Democratic Alliance (DA) has appointed two new national spokespersons to replace outgoing Mmusi Maimane, who this week was elected unopposed to lead the party in Parliament.
The appointment of the two – rising star Phumzile van Damme and Gauteng’s Marius Redelinghuys – is seen by some in the party as a move to appease the “diverse” constituencies. Both Van Damme and Redelinghuys were sworn-in as members of Parliament last week.
Chairperson of the DA federal executive James Selfe said the party decided on two spokespersons because they expected the workload to increase following the May 7 general elections.
“It’s because the caucus is much bigger now and the volume of the statements is likely to increase,” said Selfe. He said during the elections campaign the DA concentrated on community radio stations, and that is something they want to continue doing.
Until last week, Van Damme was the DA’s head of communication in Parliament. She previously worked as a spokesperson for Western Cape economic development MEC Alan Winde.
“I’m very excited. It’s a huge honour and a big task but I am up to it,” she said about her appointment on Friday morning. “It’s an incredible honour and privilege to follow in the footsteps of giants like Helen Zille, Lindiwe Mazibuko and Mmusi Maimane who were all spokespersons for the party before us,” said Redelinghuys.
Although he is only 26, the former communications director for the DA in the Gauteng legislature has been around the block. He is a former member of the ANC Youth League and was spokesperson for the Congress of the People’s youth movement until 2011. Redelinghuys joined the DA in 2011, following his departure from Cope.
The DA’s national spokespersons have all moved into bigger roles in the party, with Zille becoming its leader and her successors, Mazibuko and Maimane respectively elected the party’s parliamentary leaders.