No challenge to Zille as DA heads to congress

DA leader Helen Zille will stand unopposed at the party's federal congress.

On Wednesday, the DA revealed the names of the candidates – nominated by members – for its top leadership roles. The party received 18 nominations for the seven positions available.

Eastern Cape leader Athol Trollip, widely seen as a strong candidate for party leader, earlier made it known that he would not be contesting the election.

The party's national spokesperson Mmusi Maimane denied there was anything sinister about Zille being nominated unopposed.

"There wasn't [a process] where people got together and said the leader must not be contested," he said. "There were no candidates who wanted to put themselves forward for the position."

Maimane said any member of the DA in good financial standing could contest the position and added Zille had in the past been challenged for the position by Eastern Cape leader Athol Trollip.

The party declined to comment on the number of members and branches it had around the country, saying that this information was confidential.

Results
Greg Krumbock, convenor of the DA's federal congress, pointed instead to the results of the last national election as proof of the party's growth in recent years. The DA received 24% of the vote last year.

"One in four South Africans now vote for us," he said

The federal congress, which is made up of ordinary members and public representatives from DA branches, is the party's highest decision-making body. Elections are conducted by secret ballot.


James Selfe, chairperson of the party's federal council, and Hendrik Schmidt, who chairs the party's disciplinary body, the federal legal commission, were also nominated unopposed.

Nine members will contest the three positions of deputy federal chairperson up for grabs. These include the party's youthful Gauteng representatives Makashule Gana and Mmusi Maimane and former ID parliamentarian Joe McGluwa.

'Verwoerdian'
Meanwhile, Wilmot James, the current federal chairperson, was again nominated for the role. He will face off against the party's "rebel MP" Masizole Mnqasela for the position.

The controversial Mnqasela has done little to endear himself to the party's leadership. Last year he labelled DA parliamentary leader Lindiwe Mazibuko as inexperienced and not black enough to lead the party, supporting Trollip for her position.

He also accused Zille of running the party like a "spaza shop". Zille in turn labelled him "Verwoerdian" and the party charged him with six counts of misconduct over the incident. Mnqasela eventually apologised and the charges were dropped.

The incident, together with allegations that he asked provincial officials to award a tender to a company he was linked to, have tarnished Mnqasela's image.

Krumbock described the election of the three deputy federal chairpersons would be the most interesting part of the election.

"Most of the candidates are new. We have new guys, fresh faces on the block and that's what makes it interesting," he said.

Maimane also touted the diversity of the candidates running for leadership posts at the congress. "This list is representative of a diversity of people, a diversity of representatives from various provinces and, certainly for us, represents an incredible step forward and one that I'm looking forward to in this congress," he said.

In the coming weeks, the nominees will campaign for the posts they are contesting and will also debate each other in a series of road shows, which will be held around the country.

These are unprecedented times, and the role of media to tell and record the story of South Africa as it develops is more important than ever. But it comes at a cost. Advertisers are cancelling campaigns, and our live events have come to an abrupt halt. Our income has been slashed.

The Mail & Guardian is a proud news publisher with roots stretching back 35 years. We’ve survived thanks to the support of our readers, we will need you to help us get through this.

To help us ensure another 35 future years of fiercely independent journalism, please subscribe.

Advertising

Where is the deputy president?

David Mabuza is hard at work — it’s just not taking place in the public eye. The rumblings and discussion in the ANC are about factions in the ruling party, succession and ousting him

Zuma turns on judiciary as trial nears

Former president says pre-trial correspondence is part of another plot

SANDF inquiry clears soldiers of the death of Collins Khosa

The board of inquiry also found that it was Khosa and his brother-in-law Thabiso Muvhango who caused the altercation with the defence force members

Lockdown relief scheme payouts to employees tops R14-billion

Now employers and employees can apply to the Unemployment Insurance Fund for relief scheme payments
Advertising

Press Releases

Covid-19 and Back to School Webinar

If our educators can take care of themselves, they can take care of the children they teach

5G technology is the future

Besides a healthcare problem Covid-19 is also a data issue and 5G technology, with its lightning speed, can help to curb its spread

JTI off to court for tobacco ban: Government not listening to industry or consumers

The tobacco ban places 109 000 jobs and 179 000 wholesalers and retailers at risk — including the livelihood of emerging farmers

Holistic Financial Planning for Professionals Webinar

Our lives are constantly in flux, so it makes sense that your financial planning must be reviewed frequently — preferably on an annual basis

Undeterred by Covid-19 pandemic, China and Africa hold hands, building a community of a shared future for mankind

It is clear that building a community with a shared future for all mankind has become a more pressing task than ever before

Wills, Estate Administration and Succession Planning Webinar

Capital Legacy has had no slowdown in lockdown regarding turnaround with clients, in storing or retrieving wills and in answering their questions

Call for Expression of Interest: Training supply and needs assessment to support the energy transition in South Africa

GIZ invites eligible and professional companies with local presence in South Africa to participate in this tender to support the energy transition

Obituary: Mohammed Tikly

His legacy will live on in the vision he shared for a brighter more socially just future, in which racism and discrimination are things of the past

The best local and international journalism

handpicked and in your inbox every weekday