Democratic Alliance (DA) leader Mmusi Maimane’s last minute entry for the position of Western Cape premier places the party in a difficult situation ahead of the 2019 elections, this according professor of public leadership at the University of Stellenbosch, Erwin Schwella.
The DA confirmed that its Federal Executive Committee will meet on Tuesday to discuss who will be named the party’s Western Cape premier candidate after conflict erupted against leader Mmusi Maimane’s bid to name himself for the position over the weekend.
Federal executive committee chairperson, James Selfe, announced that the DA’s decision-making structure would meet to discuss the premier candidate, but it remains unclear when the party will announce its candidate.
“I don’t know [if the party will make an announcement]. I don’t want to pre-empt the Federal Executive [Committee] discussions,” Selfe said.
According to reports, Maimane was intending to announce himself as Western Cape candidate. Initially, the party had planned to make the announcement on Sunday, but on Saturday sent a note saying that it had been delayed.
The decision to delay the announcement seemed to come after DA provincial leader, Bonginkosi Madikizela, met with Maimane on Friday to raise concerns about his candidature. Madikizela was in the running for the post.
According to Schwella, the DA is still recovering from a series of PR challenges, including a legal battle in the Western Cape High Court in June, over the party’s decision to terminate Patricia de Lille’s membership for comments she made during a radio interview.
“[The] South African political landscape is not easy. Issues are complex and need to be dealt with by sensitive leadership, however, we [South Africans] need to realise that everyone makes mistakes, [but] we should be humble enough to admit them,” Schwella added.
De Lille submitted her resignation in August and in exchange the party withdrew all internal charges against her.
A new Cape Town mayor is due to be elected by the end of September and De Lille is expected to be removed from all mayoral duties at the end of October.