South Africa: Helen Zille's Putsch Breaks the DA As Maimane and Trollip Quit Their Posts

Mmusi Maimane, left, announces his resignation as leader of South Africa's opposition Democratic Alliance. Behind him at the press conference are Helen Zille, the party's newly elected Federal Council Chairperson, centre, and Athol Trollip, who resigned as party chairperson on the same day.
analysis

A visibly shocked Helen Zille, the newly elected DA federal council chairperson, flails as party leader Mmusi Maimane and federal chairperson Athol Trollip resign -- leaving the party leaderless and in tatters. The party's white-lash could see a loss of black support.

On Wednesday 23 October 2019, the opposition DA lay leaderless and in political tatters as both party leader Mmusi Maimane and federal chairperson Athol Trollip resigned, capping the party's worst crisis in its short history.

The newly elected federal council chairperson Helen Zille was visibly shocked as Maimane and Trollip announced their resignations from their party positions. While Maimane will stay on as the leader in Parliament, he is no longer party leader. Usually, Trollip would have remained interim leader until the party elected a new top team at the end of 2019, but with him walking the plank too, the DA is now leaderless and, arguably, rudderless too.

Maimane and Trollip's resignation follows that of Herman Mashaba, the Johannesburg mayor, who walked out of the door on Monday.

Zille made a shock announcement to run for the position of federal council chairperson less than a month ago and won that election on Sunday 20 October, shifting the...

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