Where to for Mmusi Maimane?

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Will former Democratic Alliance (DA) leader Mmusi Maimane start his own political party? That is the question many are asking after he quit the official opposition party.

Maimane resigned as party leader on Wednesday, and then as DA member the following day. His exit has sparked speculation about his political future.

His dramatic exit threw the opposition party into a tail spin.

The question is what is his next move?

“We will continue to fight. We are not stepping away from politics. We will continue to serve our nation and we will continue with a vision for one South Africa,” Maimane said on Wednesday.

At least one political analyst believes he may go at it alone.

“He’s certainly behaving as though he will start his own political party because, first of all, he has resigned from the DA and secondly, he keeps on saying he is not done with public service. So, certainly thinking very serious about it and I’m certain, he’s exploring it,” says analyst Professor Steven Friedman.

However is there a space for another liberal party?

“If you look for example, at middle-class black voters, there is a very strong sense among black middle-class voters that they don’t have a political home at the moment. They are not comfortable with the ANC or any of the opposition parties. So, there is certainly a space for a party like that, whether this will be that party, will certainly depend on how strong they are on the ground and how many people they can pull from the DA.”

The possibility of another party is a potential headache for the DA, which lost some of its support to other parties in the recent elections.

“It needs policy certainty and policy clarity. So, the potential voters need to know what it is they are voting for,  where its challenge lies; it does not want to let go of the old and embrace the possibility of the new,” says Political Analyst Angelo Fick.

In a clear sign that he has divorced the party, Maimane was quick to change his Twitter profile, removing any links with the DA, perhaps an indication that he has already made up his mind about his next move.