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Maimane sets the record straight

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Democratic Alliance leader Mmusi Maimane has rejected media reports that suggested that his predecessor Helen Zille was still in charge of the party based on an alleged intervention when a senior party leader from the Eastern Cape wanted to quit.

Maimane told Parliament journalists that there had been “a lot of misreporting on the issue”.

An Eastern Cape newspaper reported last month that Veliswa Mvenya, who is the chairperson of the DA in the Eastern Cape, resigned from the party due to tension with Athol Trollip, the leader of the party in the province, and that Mvenya withdrew her resignation after a telephonic call from Zille.

Maimane responded to the reports during a press conference to talk about the DA’s councillor candidates yesterday.

He said he had met Mvenya and she raised a number of issues.

“I brought them together with Athol Trollip and we worked together a process to ensure that we achieve the outcomes in the elections,” said Maimane.

Maimane said Mvenya resigned for “her own personal and health reasons”, which he said he was not at liberty to disclose.

“[She] then retracted that; 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.

“It’s all nonsense, this whole thing. I think we must call it what it is, it’s nonsense,” said Maimane.

He said he was now working on a process with the provincial leadership to make sure that she [Mvenya] continued the work she had 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.”

Maimane said he had a conversation with Mvenya last week but wouldn’t reveal the details of that talk.

A visibly irritated Maimane explained that Zille’s role was “totally different”.

“She has to lead the province. And from time to time, I assess whether she is doing her job with regards to being the Premier of the Western Cape.”

He said 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,” he added.

[Source: City Press]
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