Cape Town - The federal executive of the DA has thrown its weight behind party leader Mmusi Maimane following speculation about his future after his party shed 2% of the national vote.
This as the ANC, after a special meeting of the national executive committee (NEC) last night, announced seven of it’s eight premiers-elect in the eight provinces that they run. The North West premier-elect will be announced “in due course”.
Speaking after the DA federal executive meeting yesterday, the party said it took responsibility for the outcomes of elections whether good or bad.
“That burden does not sit on the shoulders of an individual,” federal chairperson Athol Trollip said at a press conference.
Trollip said Maimane remained their our leader until a federal congress scheduled for 2021 decided otherwise.
“Any talk of a change of a leadership change before a federal congress must be dispelled,” he said.
“As the leadership of the party, at both a national and provincial level, we are unambiguous in our support for Mr Maimane who has led the DA with exemption since the 2015 Nelson Mandela Bay Federal Congress, and his unopposed election in 2018,” Trollip said.
He also said they were faced with internal challenges and significant changes in the political landscape, including the rise of nationalism on both the left and the right.
“In short, both internally and externally there were matters we had to grapple with. We will be the first to state that these factors had a role to play in our electoral fortunes,” Trollip said.
“As the DA we are holding the moderate non-racial centre ground; an important position in the rise of populism.”
The party lost some votes to Good and Freedom Front Plus as well official opposition in KwaZulu-Natal among others. Its majority was reduced in the Western Cape, down to 55.45%.
“Where the losses occurred, we will work on regaining the trust of the people as we head into the 2021 Local Government Elections. This starts with two by-elections taking place in Nelson Mandela Bay as early as Wednesday; this will be the start of winning back the Bay.”
He also announced that there would be a review of the organisational structure and how they can best operate as a party that occupies governments that serve around 15-million people, and the way they campaigned.
The review was something that happens from time to time, he explained.
The party last held a review in 2005 while under the leadership of Tony Leon, Trollip said.
While not willing to talk about their challenges, he said they would start a listening campaign in provinces and regions. Speaking on the organisational review, Fedex chairperson James Selfe said they have a way to select candidates and evaluate public representatives.
“We want to see whether those systems are appropriate to serve for a different constituency we had in 2004,” Selfe said.
Meanwhile, the ANC’s premiers-elect in seven of its eight provinces are Sihle Zikalala in KwaZulu-Natal, David Makhura in Gauteng, Oscar Mabuyane in the Eastern Cape, Zamani Saul in Northern Cape, Sisi Ntombela in Free State, Stan Mathabatha in Limpopo and Refilwe Mtsweni in Mpumalanga.
“The province gives us three names as per resolution of conference and we decide on one,” ANC secretary general Ace Magashule said. ‘‘In circumstances there are issues and challenges, we are still the relevant body to decide.”