The Democratic Alliance (DA) in Gauteng has chosen John Moodey as the leader who will deliver on its ambitions of taking control of the province after the 2019 national elections.
After a tight race against MP Ghaleb Cachalia, Moodey was re-elected by DA members who attended the provincial conference in Midrand on Saturday.
“I am ecstatic about the fact that my province has once more reaffirmed their faith and trust in my leadership and I must also tell you that I am humbled at the same time,” Moodey said.
“The job starts now, because while the campaign was happening internally the campaign outside [for the 2019 elections] was going a little bit slower. So from today onwards it is all systems go,” he added.
Moodey vowed to put aside the tensions that emerged between himself and Cachalia in the lead-up to the conference.
The two had been at odds after an internal DA report that showed membership irregularities was leaked to the public, allegedly by members of Cachalia’s campaign team. Cachalia however denied this, and slammed Moodey for not taking responsibility for the administrative crisis.
Cachalia’s criticism of Moodey, which he reiterated during his address to the congress, didn’t sit well with delegates who booed him off stage, chanting their support for Moodey.
A visibly disappointed Cachalia embraced Moodey after the announcement of the election results, with the newly re- elected leader vowing to mend relations between them.
“It’s never about a position it’s always about the mission. So I believe that myself and Ghaleb will be able to continue with our friendship and our relationship and the things that happened to be discussed and put behind us,” Moodey said.
While the DA is in it’s congress season and holding provincial elections in all provinces, the Gauteng congress holds particular significance due to the ambitions the party has in the province.
It hopes to take control of the country’s economic hub and will require a strategy that will deliver more than one million new votes at the 2019 polls.
Moodey’s supporters believed him to be a “tried and tested” leader, due to his involvement in crafting the 2016 election strategy that helped the DA win the Johannesburg and Tshwane metros in the 2016 municipal elections.
Party leader Mmusi Maimane gave an address at the congress, calling on the leaders to emulate the ideals of Helen Suzman who stood as a voice against injustice.
He also gave a stern word to DA members, that they would be required to give their full backing to whichever candidate was elected.
“Let me say this to you, there are no camps in the DA. There are no members of Ghaleb or members of John, there are only members of the DA,” he added.
“There will only be one leader for Gauteng and you may not have voted for that leader but at the end of the day as a true democrat you must accept the results and get behind that leader and get on the streets and fight for a South Africa for all,” he added.
Other leaders who were elected at the congress include Mike Moriarty who was elected as provincial chairperson, replacing Solly Msimanga and Bongani Nkomo as deputy provincial chair.