Helen Zille's return from the political wilderness shows that, actually, she does not see Mmusi Maimane at all. Whatever the outcome, the party will struggle to dig itself out of the hole it dug for itself over the past decade.
She was in a euphoric state. "The DA will govern South Africa. The DA will govern South Africa." Tears ran down her cheeks. She may have scripted Mmusi Maimane's meteoric rise over the years, but when the moment finally came, the Iron Lady of South African politics simply melted into an emotion-filled wreck.
Remnants of lipstick and make-up on her face properly told the story of Helen Zille's moment, as she hugged and kissed her way from the main stage. Her successor was dancing, posing for pictures, as the confetti came down.
The feeling of disbelief hit Maimane a few moments later as he prepared to deliver his maiden speech.
Backstage, with his wife, he fidgeted, impatient, and totally submitted to the moment as he kicked around like a boxer waiting to jump into the ring.
The speech had an unbelievable text to it. It had the words "Federal Leader of the Democratic Alliance".
Right there and then, Maimane was...