Democratic Alliance (DA) MPL in Gauteng, Makashule Gana, has added his name to the race to replace former party leader Mmusi Maimane.

The other two candidates for the position are John Steenhuisen and Bonginkosi Madikizela. Gana posted the announcement on social media – a few minutes before the deadline for nominations.

Gana said that he accepted the nomination for the position of interim federal leader, after some reflection. The position became open when Maimane resigned last week, saying the party was no longer the vehicle best suited to take forward the vision of building one South Africa for all.

Gana’s candidacy comes just a few weeks after he was elected as the chairperson of the DA’s MPL Network, a structure that represents members of the provincial legislatures and National Council of Provinces.

He will go head to head with DA parliamentary leader, John Steenhuisen, for the hotly contested position at the party’s federal council meeting scheduled for November 17.

Gana has also previously led the DA’s youth wing and was a member of the National Assembly. The party fell into a state of disarray following the resignations of its three prominent members, Herman Mashaba, Mmusi Maimane and Athol Trollip.

The party will hold its federal council next month to elect interim leaders until next year’s elective congress.