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Maimane, Trollip exits leave DA in disarray, deeply divided

The resignations came after over seven hours of the federal executive meeting on Wednesday that was meant to discuss Herman Mashaba's resignation on Monday.

Mmusi Maimane seen on 23 October 2019 after resigning as the leader of the Democratic Alliance. Picture: Sethembiso Zulu/EWN

JOHANNESBURG - The Democratic Alliance (DA) has been hit by its biggest scandal yet.

It's two prominent leaders Mmusi Maimane and Athol Trollip have resigned, leaving the party in disarray and deeply divided.

Maimane announced his decision first.

"It is with great sadness that in order to continue the fight for this vision I so strongly believe in, and the country I so dearly love, I today tender my resignation as leader of the Democratic Alliance."

*READ: Mmusi Maimane's resignation speech

Trollip then applauded the DA for its work but said it was also time to go.

"My decision today is not an easy decision, it has been taken after so considerable soul searching and some reflection. It's a sad day for me... it's been an extraordinary privilege to serve this party in a number of capacities."

The resignations came after over seven hours of the federal executive meeting on Wednesday that was meant to discuss Herman Mashaba's resignation on Monday.

Maimane has denounced the organisation he served for four years.

"And in the end, we have come to the conclusion that despite my best efforts, the DA is not the vehicle best suited to take forward the vision of building One South Africa for All."

But he said that this was not the end of his political road.

"Our commitment to this country is that we will continue to fight, we are not stepping away from politics, we wil continue to serve our nation and we will continue with a vision of one South Africa for all."

The party's former leader and now federal council chairperson Helen Zille said that she was shocked by today's developments.

"And so it was with much sadness that the federal executive understood and ceased arguing for the compliance with the resolution of the federal council but accepted that they'd taken a decision because as they see it, their positions have become untenable."

The DA will hold an urgent federal executive meeting on Thursday to discuss where to from here.

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