Eastern Cape DA Chairperson, Athol Trollip, says that he will not be standing as the new leader of the Democratic Alliance. He says that he has his eye on the much contested Nelson Mandela Bay Metro Municipality as the Metro’s mayor.
This comes after DA leader, Helen Zille, announced on Sunday that she will not be standing for re-election.
“My hat is definitely in the ring for the vacant position of federal chairperson. I think it’s a very important position and what I wanted to do when I gave notice that I would stand for that position was that I wanted to be there in the transition period between Helen Zille stepping down.
She’s now brought that forward with yesterday’s announcement, so I think it’s even more important that I fill that position. I believe that I can bring a steady hand and an experienced hand to the leadership team, and I look forward to that, but I won’t be standing for leader of the party,” says Trollip.
His announcement come after former DA parliamentary leader Lindiwe Mazibuko made it clear she won’t stand for the position of party leader at this stage. Mazibuko is studying political science at Harvard University in the US. She’s tweeted that she remains committed to the DA and will make herself available for public service when the time is right – but that time is not now.
The DA’s elective congress with be held in May.
I wish to clarify that I will not be making myself available for election to any leadership post at the DA's 2015 Congress.
— Lindiwe Mazibuko (@LindiMazibuko) April 13, 2015
All eyes are now on the party’s Parliamentary leader, Mmusi Maimane, who is seen as Zille’s blue-eyed boy and her trusted political ally.
Zille made him spokesperson and backed him to become the Gauteng premier candidate and ultimately her leader in Parliament. But in Parliament, he is accused of being completely overshadowed by the Economic Freedom Fighters led by Julius Malema, despite having numbers.
Maimane is cautious on leading the party, saying he still has to consult widely before deciding on his next course of action.
He says he has to spend a lot of time thinking what it means to the DA.
“This is a significant moment and I think I want to allow South Africans to look at Helen Zille’s legacy and be able to appreciate the contribution she has made as to who fulfills the role. Whether I fulfill the role is something that I will think about deeply, like I found out today is something that I will discuss with all the respective structures. I will see what happens after many people have been lobbied, of course I will consider it.”