IRR analyst Hermann Pretorius refused to take credit for Mmusi Maimane’s resignation but insisted that this was a good move for the future of the DA. Picture:Ayanda Ndamane/ African News Agency (ANA)

Durban - Institute of Race Relations analyst Hermann Pretorius on Thursday morning refused to take credit for Mmusi Maimane’s resignation but insisted that this was a good move for the future of the DA.

Talking to the SAFM’s Stephen Grootes, Pretorius told Sunrise Breakfast show listeners that Maimane’s demise was started by the outcome of the May 8 general elections.

Pretorius recently made headlines after penning an opinion piece saying Maimane should vacate the position for Western Cape Premier Alan Winde to take over. 

“From that point on, the DA has been losing support. It has been consistently losing up to 20% of supporters,” he said. 

When Grootes asked if he was happy that Maimane had left, Pretorious unapologetically replied: “Yes, I am.”

He said although Maimane had been described as talented and well-liked leader, the analyst said “the reality is that those are not criteria for successful leadership, especially not in a country like South Africa where the politics is quite brutal.”  

“I think he is a failed leader, and I think for Mr Maimane leaving his leadership role is a positive development for the DA,” he said.

He also rejected claims that Maimane had championed multi-racial membership of the DA. 

“In 2014 the DA got 3.8% of the black vote, in 2019 it got 4% so let us not pretend that under Mr Maimane’s leadership black support for the DA made impressive strides and that his is now a repudiation of black support,” said Pretorious.

However, he said with the departure of Maimane and former Nelson Mandela Bay mayor Athol Trollip, the DA would have a tough 2021 local government elections as there would be not enough time for the party to identify new leadership.    

“The party should be prepared for quite a brutal 2021 local government elections. 

“But if they focus on 2024 general elections, and if they install the right leadership I think they can be well positioned to return in 2024 (general elections) onwards,” he said. 

He said if Maimane decide to start a new party this would further complicate the situation for the DA. 

Public Works and Infrastructure Minister Patricia de Lille who a year ago resigned both as DA member and as Cape Town mayor after a fallout also told Grootes that she had warned Maimane to watch out for “a dangerous cabal”, which “would swallow him up, they will spit him out”.

“Unfortunately he saw it coming but he just did not know how to get out of the way. 

“It is indeed well clear that the DA is well on its path to self destruction, and the advice is that don’t disturb it,” said the now leader of the Good party. 

Political Bureau