Media reports and assertions that former national leader of the Democratic Alliance (DA) still steers the leadership boat of the opposition party has been a vexed question that needs proper attention and clarification.
Speaking to Parliament journalists during a briefing on the party’s candidate lists for the August 3 elections, DA leader, Mmusi Maimane termed the assertion ‘nonsense’, stating that there had been “a lot of misreporting on the issue”.
According to Maimane, insinuating that Zille still runs the party “is all nonsense, this whole thing. I think we must call it what it is, it’s nonsense.”
The opposition party leader was forced to speak up on the issue after he was driven batty by claims that Eastern Cape chairperson, Veliswa Mvenya, who submitted her resignation letter was convince by Zille to withdraw the resignation letter.
Maimane made it clear that Mvenya resigned of her own accord because of “personal and health reasons”, which he would not go into.
He said, “that’s her right. To say that Helen Zille engaged her to retract that actually was disingenuous. It was false because, actually, her conversation with Ms Zille was subsequent to her retraction of her resignation.
Really, you can’t dream up more nonsense than that. I brought them together with Athol Trollip and we worked together a process to ensure that we achieve the outcomes in the elections,” he said.
Mvenya, who resigned in May, had since retracted her resignation.
Last month, an Eastern Cape newspaper reported that Mvenya resigned from the party due to personal issues with Athol Trollip, the leader of the party in the province, and that Mvenya withdrew her resignation after Zille forwarded a call across to her.
In addition, Maimane said that he is currently working on a process with the provincial leadership to ensure that Mveny continues the work she has to do in her constituency.
“I don’t expect less from any of our public reps. I must make sure that all our reps do what they need to do; they are activists in their communities and they do their job. That’s what I’m asking.
So, she has, and I am standing with her. She is going through a particularly difficult time, but I am not one to divulge where she sits.
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He however confirmed that Zille served in some of the party’s structures and helped with list processes. “But to suggest that she is running the organisation, you can’t dream up more nonsense than that. People have their own agendas to drive. I know one leader in the DA and I don’t think that matter is confusing,” Maimane added.
DA’s Helen Zille, was the national leader of the DA before she lost the position to Maimane in 2015. She is currently the Western Cape premier.
Meanwhile, the DA is optimistic that it will win with maximum number of votes in the Nelson Mandela Bay Metro, which includes Port Elizabeth, and sending the African National Congress (ANC) parking.