South Africa: Helen Zille to 'Stay in My Lane' After Winning New DA Position

Democratic Alliance leader Mmusi Maimane, left; new DA Federal Council Chairperson, Helen Zille, centre; and Johannesburg Mayor Herman Mashaba.
analysis

Helen Zille is back. The former DA leader was elected DA federal council chairperson on Sunday. The DA agreed to hold an early elective congress, and if the weekend's meeting is anything to go by, party leader Mmusi Maimane's position is in doubt.

Former DA leader Helen Zille won one of the party's most influential positions at this weekend's DA federal council meeting, while the party's future and Mmusi Maimane's leadership will be decided at upcoming policy and elective congresses.

Zille beat Maimane's preferred candidate, Athol Trollip, as well as Mike Waters and Thomas Walters in an election for the council chairperson and will be responsible for the organisation and administration of the party as well as implementing federal council and federal executive decisions.

"I will stay in my lane. This is a job that coordinates the different structures, functions, systems and processes of the DA," said Zille in a press briefing after her election.

Zille, who led the party from 2007 to 2015, has said the party lost support in the May 2019 general elections due to its "race-based politics" and is widely seen as a leader of the opposition to Maimane's efforts to embrace policies linking race to...

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