DA leadership race heats up

The two main contenders for Helen Zille’s crown have been engaging in a series of internal party debates.

FILE: The Democratic Alliance (DA) leadership race between Mmusi Maimane and Wilmot James is heating-up. Picture: Lauren Isaacs/EWN

CAPE TOWN - The Democratic Alliance (DA) leadership race between Mmusi Maimane and Wilmot James is heating up.

The two main contenders for outgoing leader Helen Zille's crown have been engaging in a series of internal party debates, setting out what they have to offer at candidate meetings in Port Elizabeth and on Tuesday in Cape Town.

On Thursday, they will be in Gauteng where 147 delegates to the Democratic Alliance (DAs) congress next month have just publicly declared their support for Maimane.

The 147 signatures include the names of senior Gauteng politicians, but not that of provincial leader John Moodey, suggesting the province may be divided over who should lead the party.

Maimane's campaign manager Geordin Hill-Lewis believes he will have the provinces backing come congress on 9 May.

"Gauteng is behind Maimane in big numbers and very strongly and this letter shows that we have all the senior leaders from all the regions in Gauteng."

Western Cape provincial leader Patricia De Lille has already endorsed Maimane but insiders in James's camp insists the race isn't over yet.