Daily Maverick (Johannesburg)

3 May 2014

South Africa: As the DA Wraps Up Campaigning, Maimane Stakes His Gauteng Claim


Helen Zille's Blue Army gathered in Joburg on Saturday for one last hurrah before polls open on Wednesday. But for once, Zille was not the focus of proceedings.

That honour went to Mmusi Maimane, who believes he is in with a genuine shot at toppling the ANC's hegemony in Gauteng. The loyal crowd did not disagree.

On Saturday, the Blue People were out in force at the NorthGate Dome, Johannesburg. Admittedly, the choice of venue - nestled in the heart of white, middle-class suburbia - was unfortunate, given the DA's attempts to shed their reputation as a white, middle-class party, but this shouldn't detract from what was a very effective final stop on the campaign trail for Mmusi Maimane, Helen Zille, Lindiwe Mazibuko & Co.

"We stand today on the doorstep of a new tomorrow," screamed Maimane, who was clearly in his element in front the 20,000-strong crowd, all in their matching DA t-shirts and waving their little DA flags. The crowd screamed back.

Maimane is superb on the stump: his eloquence, passion and charisma are reminiscent of a young Barack Obama, and the audience hung onto his every word. "Our destiny is in our hands," he ...

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