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Zille: Agang exit has not hurt DA

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Helen Zille and Mamphela Ramphele. Photo: Henk Kruger

Cape Town - DA leader Helen Zille said the failed marriage with AgangSA has caused no harm to her party ahead of the general elections.

Instead, she said, the aborted merger will benefit her party and cost Mamphela Ramphele’s party more votes.

“It will gain us one or two percent because Agang is gone, it’s vanished and they were really our voters, so…,” said Zille, who was confirmed as the DA’s presidential candidate at the party’s federal council at the weekend.

She said the DA had moved on from what has been an embarrassing episode for both parties. The highly publicised merger was aborted after Ramphele withdrew as the DA’s presidential candidate.

She had been announced as the DA’s presidential candidate amid much fanfare in a hastily organised press conference, only for the Agang leader to renege on the agreement a week later.

Zille confirmed that she would be the presidential candidate, after she was placed at the top of the DA’s national list.

“It means that when we win nationally, I will be the president on May 7,” she said, adding that the aborted merger with Agang had not caused any ructions within her party.

“I set out exactly what happened and everyone understood it and we move on.”

Asked whether she would initiate further talks with Ramphele any time soon, Zille said: “We’ll see. I never say never.”

DA Cape Town metro regional chairman Grant Pascoe, a member of the federal council, said, “We are over Ramphele.”

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