Zille punted as possibility to replace Botha

Analysts believe Sandra Botha’s decision to bow out as Democratic Alliance parliamentary leader will not...

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Analysts believe Sandra Botha’s decision to bow out as Democratic Alliance parliamentary leader will not have a major impact on the party.

Botha announced that she would retire from active politics to pursue another opportunity but has declined to confirm whether this involved a diplomatic posting abroad.

Analysts said her departure may pave the way for DA leader Helen Zille to enter Parliament.

Botha’s departure comes as the party finalised its national and provincial party lists ahead of the elections.

It was not yet clear whether anyone was handpicked to replace Botha but independent political analyst Harold Pakendorf said Zille was an option.

“I suspect that because the DA expects to better in the election, Helen Zille could move in as parliamentary leader. I don’t know who else they could use at this stage."

He added that if the DA won the poll in the <?xml:namespace prefix="st1" ns="urn:schemas-microsoft-com:office:smarttags"?><place w:st="on"><state w:st="on">Western Cape, Zille had the option of moving into the Premier’s office.