Maimane in two minds if he'll run for Gauteng premier

Newly-appointed Democratic Alliance (DA) spokesperson Mmusi Maimane is still deciding whether to run for the party’s top job in Gauteng, he said on Monday.

“I am considering it. That is all I can say,” he said of reports that he has set his sights on being the DA’s Gauteng leader.

Maimane has until Friday to make up his mind about contesting the position when the Democratic Alliance heads to its provincial congress on March 10.

Maimane said the Johannesburg caucus, of which he was also leader, had to ensure it had the right capacity before he could make an announcement about his candidacy for premier.

“That is the primary reason for the delay ... Gauteng is a strategic province for the DA and so we will issue a statement in the next couple of days.
Right now I am in no position to confirm whether I am running or not,” he said.

Gauteng was a strategic province in realising the party’s hopes of gaining more votes in 2014 general elections, he said.

‘Rising star’
DA Gauteng legislature member John Moodey announced his candidacy on Friday.

He would be up against Ian Ollis in an attempt to take over from Janet Semple.

But Moodey believes he is the one who would pave the way for the DA to trump the ANC in Gauteng in 2014.

Maimane came to prominence during the local government elections last year.

Since then he has been depicted as a “rising star” in the DA, like Lindiwe Mazubuko who has been appointed as its parliamentary leader.

Maimane stood as his party’s Johannesburg mayoral candidate in the local elections last year, but lost to the ANC’s Parks Tau.

Commentators have suggested that his possible election to lead the DA in Gauteng would benefit the party’s drive to change its image as a white-dominated party.—Sapa

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