Despite an underwhelming electoral performance, the
Democratic Alliance (DA) will not be turning its back on party leader, Mmusi
This was the guarantee given by the official opposition’s Federal Executive committee, which convened on Monday to discuss and dissect the outcomes of South Africa’s sixth democratic election. It was a particularly sobering result for the DA, which saw the party bleed almost half a million votes.
DA licks its wounds
There were, however, a few silver linings; the DA managed to
retain its administrative control of the Western Cape, albeit with a reduced
majority. The official opposition party also secured the highest number of
Still, the party’s Federal Chairperson, Athol Trollip,
admitted that the organisation had underperformed amidst strenuous circumstances,
both internally and externally. Trollip explained:
“We were faced with internal challenges and significant changes in the political landscape, the rise of nationalism on both the left and the right. We will be the first to state that these factors had a role to play in our electoral fortunes.”
Trollip added that the party would not be deterred by
despondency and that efforts to build ‘One South Africa for All’ would be
redoubled – starting with upcoming by-elections in the Nelson Mandela Day
municipality. Trollip, who was joined by Federal Executive chairperson, James
Selfe, National Spokespersons, Refiloe Nt’sekhe and Solly Malatsi, and all
provincial leaders, said:
“We will never celebrate the loss of voters. We are not blind to support in some areas nor are we deaf to the voices of those who chose to support another party in this election.
Whether in opposition or in government, we will continue to Build One South Africa for All.”
Official opposition sticking with Mmusi Maimane
Mmusi Maimane, who was not in attendance at the Federal Executive’s briefing, has been the subject of staunch criticism, with many disillusioned voters openly admitting their lack of faith in the DA’s leadership. Despite isolated calls for Maimane to be replaced, Trollip, in union with the Federal Executive, noted that their leader would not be substituted nor recalled. Trollip said:
“There has been much speculation about the future of our Leader, Mmusi Maimane. We would like to state that Mr Maimane remains our leader until a Federal Congress, scheduled for 2021 decides otherwise.
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.”