Leader of the Democratic Alliance (DA) Mmusi Maimane today announced his decision to step down from the party, but has said he will remain on as a Member of Parliament (MP).
During a press conference in Bruma, Johannesburg, Maimane said his main objective was to free the country from the rule of the African National Congress (ANC), and this led him down the path of working in politics, despite him not having the intention of becoming a politician.
“Despite my best efforts, perhaps the DA is not the best vehicle which is suited to take forward the vision of building one South Africa,” he said.
According to Maimane, his vision for the DA was to transform it into an inclusive party for all politicians, and believes he has changed the party into one that relates to South Africans from all walks of life.
He added that the DA could “never be a party about one race” and that diversity has always been in the party ethos. Maimane also maintains that he has always advocated for more black people to join the party – black women in particular – so that the party is more diverse and can understand the country’s problems from a more objective point of view.
“We’ve made some tough decisions. We’ve fought many battles,” he said.
Maimane also touched on his differences with former DA leader and new Federal Executive Chairperson Helen Zille, saying they will continue to remain respectful of one another.
“I maintain her comments about colonialism certainly did not help the party,” he said.
Leader of the Good Party, and former Mayor of Cape Town, Patricia De Lille said in a statement that he is happy Mainmane left.
“When I resigned from the DA on my own terms a year ago on 31 October 2018, it was after learning bitter lessons that the party’s stated policies were window-dressing not matched by its practises in government.
“I hate to say I told you so but I am going to say it anyway. I am not claiming to be a sangoma but I warned Mmusi Maimane that if he didn’t stand on principle his party’s laptop boys would swallow him up and spit him out,” she said.
De Lille also said the DA is well on its way on the path of destruction, and it’s best we don’t disturb them.
“To Mmusi I say: GOOD bye, Im glad to see you go and hope you have a GOOD time.”
Here is the country’s reaction to Maimane’s announcement:
“And in the end we have come to the conclusion that despite my best efforts, the DA is not the vehicle best suited to take forward the vision of building One South Africa for All.”
How then do you continue to represent and lead the DA in Parliament? 🤔
— Scapegoat (@AndiMakinana) October 23, 2019
#MmusiMaimane Helen is now conductor and choir of the DA…I wonder how that works!
— Ms Gabo #Papsmearsaveslives (@mphetang) October 23, 2019
It’s about time the DA crumbles. Honestly🙅🏽♀️🙅🏽♀️🙅🏽♀️🙅🏽♀️ #MmusiMaimane
— karababy (@talkalot_co) October 23, 2019
— Steve Matic (@SteveMaticSA) October 23, 2019