DA leader Mmusi Maimane. File picture: Ayanda Ndamane/African News Agency (ANA)
Cape Town - Speculation is rife that Mmusi Maimane will resign his position as DA leader later today - especially after the surprise press conference which was meant to take place at around lunchtime was postponed. 

Just before 1 pm, the party announced that the briefing had been moved to 3 pm at which time it was again postponed - this time with no time given.

Maimane is reportedly stepping down because former DA leader Helen Zille was elected as federal council chairperson at the weekend. He reportedly made the announcement at the party's federal executive meeting on Wednesday morning.

Zille's election into the powerful post, which was previously held by James Selfe for 19 years, comes as an internal push to oust Maimane was intensifying by conservatives who were opposed to his views on redress.

If Maimane does quit it will be a massive blow for the DA which has already been left reeling by the resignation of Joburg mayor Herman Mashaba from the party earlier this week.

DA leader Mmusi Maimane speaks at a briefing following City mayor Herman Mashaba's resignation from the opposition party. Picture: Karen Sandison/African News Agency(ANA)
Mashaba, who is set to leave his post on November 27, said he had accepted the invite to join the party and serve the city because of his belief in Maimane's vision.

"The DA no longer represents a party that is able to achieve what I desire most, a movement that can save South Africa, unseat the ANC and deliver one South Africa for all," he said.

Wednesday's federal executive meeting had been called to discuss Mashaba's resignation and plot a way forward for the Joburg metro.

If Maimane resigns as the DAs number 1 without resigning from the party he will retain his seat as a member of Parliament, but it is unclear how this would affect his relationship with the new leadership.

IOL