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If Zille returns to DA, Maimane may have to fall – analysts

Zille doesn’t seem to have confidence in him, and Maimane no longer regards her as a mentor.

FILE: Mmusi Maimane (L) and Helen Zille (R). Picture: EWN

JOHANNESBURG - As the Democratic Alliance (DA) prepares to hold its all-important Federal Council meeting on Saturday, there are warnings that the election of Helen Zille as the chairperson will mean the end of Mmusi Maimane's political future in the party.

Zille entered the race a few weeks ago, joining Athol Trollip, Mike Waters and Thomas Walters.

The new Federal Council chair will be announced on Sunday.

The relationship between Mmusi Maimane and Helen Zille started on a high.

Maimane was Zille’s protégé, having ascended to the position of DA leader in 2015 with her backing.

And Zille thought Maimane would help the party become more inclusive, attract black voters and move from the opposition benches to a party in government.

But the two haven’t seen eye to eye in recent times.

Zille doesn’t seem to have confidence in him, and Maimane no longer regards her as a mentor.

Analysts said if Zille was appointed Federal Council chair, she would want to take the party back to what it was, while Maimane would want to continue with his vision of inclusivity and pushing for empowerment policies that recognised black people as the ones historically disadvantaged.

This will cause friction, and in the end, one will have to fall.

Analysts argue if Zille makes a return to the party that one who falls may be Maimane.