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Maimane calls for party unity

Delegates chanted his name as he went up on to the stage to make his inaugural address.

Democratic Alliance leader Mmusi Maimane. Picture: Reinart Toerien/EWN

PORT ELIZABETH - New leader of the Democratic Alliance (DA) Mmusi Maimane has issued a call for party unity.

The announcement of Maimane's by outgoing leader Helen Zille at the party's congress in Port Elizabeth was greeted with cheers and whistles.

Delegates chanted his name as he went up on to the stage to make his inaugural address.

Maimane first thanked delegates for their support.

"Whether or not you voted for me, let us today unite behind our shared values and take the DA forward."

He also warned delegates that there was no room in the official opposition party for those who tried to divide or mobilise around race.

"If we all work together as a team, I know that we will emerge out of this congress strong and united."

Maimane was victorious after an election campaign that saw him pitted against party veteran Wilmot James and public spats between the two camps.

Eastern Cape DA leader Athol Trollip has been elected party chairperson, defeating MP Makashule Gana and MPL Masizole Mnqasela.

Maimane will lead the party and remain as parliamentary leader.

He told delegates campaigning for next year's local government elections started today.

Maimane used his inaugural speech to send a message to President Jacob Zuma, saying the president would have his day in court.

The DA has been involved in a lengthy legal battle over the so called spy tapes, which formed the basis for the National Prosecuting Authority's decision to drop corruption charges against Zuma back in 2009.

He said the party must defend the Constitution at all costs.

Maimane said no one was above the law and no political party had the divine right to govern.

#DACongress Maimane:I have a tough task ahead of me, filling Helen Zille's shoes. GD

#DACongress Maimane: DA will keep values of Nelson Mandela alive. GD

#DACongress Trollip: We have to convince people they can have a Western Cape government in the Eastern Cape... GD

#DACongress Trollip: We have to convince people they can have a Western Cape government in the Eastern Cape... GD

#DACongress Maimane: Told congress I'm committed to building a united party. People like Dr Wilmot James have a role to play. No purge. GD

#DACongres We united behind values not a person - I am not building a party for Mmusi Maimane. GD

#DACongress Maimane: Exceptional team already in place, provincial congresses all done 12mths ahead of local govt elections. GD

#DACongress Allister Sparks a seasoned journo who fought against apartheid. I disagree with his comment on Verwoerd. GD

#DACongress DA believes Verwoerd policies deplorable. GD

#DACongress Maimane: Dislodging the ANC's about getting people who share our values to vote with us. GD

#DACongress Maimane says he's no proxy for others leading via him . GD

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