The Democratic Alliance Leader, Mmusi Maimane officially tendered his resignation on Wednesday, 23 October 2019. A number of politicians have since reacted to the news.
Why did Mmusi Maimane resign
made the announcement at Nkululeko House, the party’s Federal Head Office in
Johannesburg. The former leader revealed that his main reason for quitting was
because the political party didn’t have his vision of “building One South
Africa for All.”
“It is with great sadness that in order to continue the fight for this vision I so strongly believe in, and the country I so dearly love, I today tender my resignation as leader of the Democratic Alliance.”
Mmusi Maimane, former DA Leader
reacts to Maimane resigning
Taking to Twitter, the Economic Freedom Front’s (EFF) Leader, Julius Malema, reacted to Maimane’s resignation news by retweeting a number of posts. One such post was by the UDM’s Executive Mayor of Nelson Mandela Bay, Mongameli Bobani.
featured a video of a group of men whom Bobani joked were Maimane, Athol
Trollip, and Herman Mashaba. The mayor mocked the three men saying the video of
them failing to reel in a cow was their attempt “to take on Nontsapo before
#DAFedEx and #DApresser.”
Leader also retweeted a thread on Twitter that alleged Helen Zille had been “experimenting
with the black project” when she allowed Maimane, Mashaba and Lindiwe Mazibuko
to lead in the DA.
accused Zille of making a “U-turned with speed to normalise and appease the
verkrampte racist that is the DA core constituency.”
Phumzile Van Damme wishes the former DA Leader well
Phumzile Van Damme, a DA MP and the Shadow Minister of
Communications and Digital Technology shared a photo of herself with Maimane.
In the caption of the post, she thanked him for his work in politics and shared
her anticipation for the work they would continue doing in parliament.
She also tweeted a couple of times clarifying that the
former leader wasn’t leaving the DA. In his resignation speech, Maimane said I he
would continue in his role “as parliamentary leader until the end of the year,
after which the party will go to Congress to elect new leadership.”
Zille’s cryptic tweet
Earlier in the day, Zille posted a poem by Charles Mackay
that spoke about having enemies. The poem alluded to how when you have dabbled
in the rough, you are bound to have enemies.
The tweet was quite ironic as Maimane spoke about those in
the DA “who do not see eye to eye with me.” And members who “do not share this
vision for the party and the direction it was taking.”
The Democratic Alliance’s reaction to Maimane’s resignation
The DA responded to Maimane’s revelation by thanking him and
Trollip “for your selfless service to the DA and to the nation.” The political
party also shared the former leader’s resignation speech.
Athol Trollip has quit his role within the Federal Executive of the Democratic Alliance, just days after he was beaten to the organisation’s chairperson role by Helen Zille. It marks a dramatic downturn in fortunes for the party veteran, who was ousted as the Nelson Mandela Bay Mayor last year.
OFFICIAL: Athol Trollip has resigned with #MmusiMaimane from their DA leadership positions.
— Eusebius McKaiser (@Eusebius) October 23, 2019
Trollip is following Mmusi Maimane out the door, who announced his resignation as party leader just moments before. The double-blow to the DA could have immense consequences, in a week, month, or even year of reckless self-destruction for the second biggest political party in South Africa.
Mmusi Maimane and Athol Trollip resign from DA positions
Both are unhappy with the changing dynamics within the DA. Without directly mentioning Helen Zille in their farewell speeches, it’s though her return to the party’s hierarchy has upset the two senior figures.
“My decision today is not an easy one. It’s taken out of soul searching. I’ve been a public rep for 25 years. Mmusi inspired me when he said DA is not a home for us. I was deeply inspired by that. The highlight of my career was being elected mayor of NMB. When I was mayor I was able to implement DA policies that developed people.
“A low-light was when the EFF decided to cut the throat of whiteness and that throat was mine. They even managed to turn one of our own and the landslide that’s happened since is evident. I firmly believe that there’s a time to come and a time to go and realised that this past weekend was my time to go.”
#Trollip: “My name was not mentioned in the leadership deficit of the party. I accept that when the buck stops at the leadership door, I was in one of those doors.”
— Nomazima Nkosi (@Zima_B_Nkosi) October 23, 2019
What now for the DA?
Just where do the party go from here? Their public image has been in freefall since Patricia de Lille fell foul of the party’s disdain. Now, Maimane and Trollip have suffered a similar fate. Confidence in the party has been knocked spectacularly. Helen Zille has promised to “rebuild” and “save” the DA. Just three years ago, they looked like they were at the peak of their powers.
They gained control of major metros and held on to their coveted spot in Cape Town. However, it’s all gone south since then, with 2019’s Election results reflecting how the electorate sees the Blues. With the EFF closing the gap to their “more illustrious” opposition, the DA don’t just stand at a crossroads – they’re stood facing traffic on the N1.
EFF Deputy President Floyd Shivambu and DA stalwart Athol Trollip got embroiled in an almighty spat on Thursday, after the two traded barbs over the latest exchange between Julius Malema and Helen Zille.
Juju has received a fair whack of criticism this week, after he spurned Zille’s invite to open a dialogue on their wildly-varied political viewpoints. The former Western Cape Premier now hosts a series of debates on her YouTube channel, and she’s even had Thuli Madonsela drop by in previous episodes.
Floyd Shivambu vs Athol Trollip: How it all kicked-off on Twitter
Trollip was all too happy to pile-in with the criticism. In a Tweet shared earlier this morning, the former mayor of Nelson Mandela Bay shared a clip of Malema from eight years ago, where he vowed to “take on” Zille.
Always flip flopping! That’s all that the EFF and it’s leader are really good at. https://t.co/MkZ7Xa3hJd
— Athol Trollip (@AtholT) October 3, 2019
Red corner, blue corner clash on social media
However, Shivambu brought his own selection of spices to the picnic. He was quick to troll his adversary by reminding him of the mayoral position he lost in Port Elizabeth last year – largely thanks to EFF agitation in the chambers. However, Malema’s right-hand-man also used a highly-contentious term in his stinging retort.
The EFF is also good at ejecting racist Mayors who are still hurt and will use every little opportunity to hit back. We are proud that we have cut the throat of whiteness and that’s not flip flopping: it’s REAL. https://t.co/5FAS2dllA1
— Floyd Shivambu (@FloydShivambu) October 3, 2019
Unfortunately, this frank exchange lead to one user – with a profile picture of the old apartheid flag, no less – calling Shivambu a monkey. The politician laughed the incident off, suggesting it was posted by Athol Trollip’s “other account”. Bloody hell, Floyd… that’s how defamation suits get started.
Floyd Shivambu, the EFF, and “cutting the throat of whiteness”
The term certainly has its history. Julius Malema, who was the first EFF representative to deliver the “throat-cutting” analogy, copped an overwhelming backlash when he first directed the phrase towards Trollip and the DA.
Malema escaped punishment for five complaints of hate speech received by the SA Human Rights Commission (SAHRC) back in March. The panel confirmed his remarks were “offensive”, but not tantamount to committing a crime. It now seems Floyd Shivambu is happy to pick up the torch from where the CIC left it.