DA leader Mmusi Maimane and former leader Helen Zille. File picture: Dumisani Sibeko.
DA leader Mmusi Maimane and former leader Helen Zille. File picture: Dumisani Sibeko.

Former federal council chair calls for end to DA fight

By siyabonga mkhwanazi Time of article published Oct 13, 2019

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Former DA federal council chairperson Joe Seremane has urged warring factions in the party to stop, ahead of the key meeting to elect the new council chairperson.

Former DA leader Helen Zille, former parliamentary leader Athol Trollip, former deputy chief whip Mike Waters and federal council deputy chairperson Thomas Walters are standing for the position.

The council meeting, where the successor to James Selfe will be elected, will be held over two days, starting on Friday.

Seremane said the DA should focus on unity and not the internal dispute.

The federal council meeting comes after the DA said a draft report on the state of the party was discussed at a federal executive meeting this past Friday.

The report deals with the drop in support the DA experienced in this year’s elections, when its share of national votes fell from 22.23% to 20.77%.

“I don’t understand why there should be a war about it (drop in support),” said Seremane.

He said if there was racism in the DA, it should be fought against, and done away with.

“None of us agree to racism; it should be challenged. We should walk the talk on both sides (in the party).

“We don’t walk the talk.”

He said racism should not be allowed to influence outcomes in the DA. He said leaders of the party needed to unite and build a future.

Accusations were levelled against DA leader Mmusi Maimane after it was reported that he was living in a R4million house in Cape Town.

Maimane was also accused of driving a car donated by former Steinhoff chief executive Markus Jooste.

But the DA said Maimane presented his case to the party last week, and that there was no wrongdoing on his part.

DA provincial leaders have come out in support of Maimane, saying he should lead the party until the next conference, in 2021.

Maimane has called for an early conference.

Last week, Zille threw her hat back in the ring, announcing she would contest the position of federal council chairperson. Seremane said all the factions in the DA should work together to build the party.

“I hope the DA won’t be swallowed by a racist fight. Respect the person if they make a mistake. They need to work harder to show that this is not racism. If you go and kill everybody, you are making a mistake.”

Seremane said all sides in the party should bury the hatchet, and no side should claim to be better than the other.

Political Bureau

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