DA allays fears of implosion, says won't be derailed by internal issues

As things stand, the party has no CEO, no leader, no federal leader, no chief whip in Parliament and it will soon be without a mayor in Johannesburg.

Mmusi Maimane after announcing his resignation as DA leader on 23 October 2019. Picture: Sethembiso Zulu/EWN

JOHANNESBURG/CAPE TOWN - As the Democratic Alliance (DA) reels from its biggest political crisis yet, the party has come out to allay fears that it was imploding, saying it would not be derailed by internal and external issues.

The party’s federal executive met on Thursday following the resignation of Mmusi Maimane and Athol Trollip as leader and federal chair respectively.

Maimane also resigned as a DA member and Member of Parliament earlier today, which led to John Steenhuisen’s term as the party’s chief whip to also come to an end.

The organisation has now announced that it was planning a federal council meeting soon to elect interim leaders.

The DA is a party in disarray.

As things stand, the party has no CEO, no leader, no federal leader, no chief whip in Parliament and it will soon be without a mayor in Johannesburg.

The party’s federal executive met today to chart the way forward.

It said it was in the business of ensuring that the democratic project was not derailed by either internal or external issues.

The party said it needed a strong and stable leadership.

It said it would elect interim leaders at its federal council soon to be arranged, who would steer the ship until the party’s early congress next year.

WATCH: Mmusi Maimane resigns as DA leader

Meanwhile, Steenhuisen said that the best person to lead the DA following Maimane’s resignation should be the right person and should not be selected based on race.

He was speaking after today’s DA parliamentary caucus meeting that sat to discuss Maimane’s resignation from the party and as a Member of Parliament.

Steenhuisen has also ceased to be the party’s chief whip because the tenure of the chief whip is linked to that of the parliamentary leader.

John Steenhuisen, who hasn’t ruled out running to be the next leader of the DA, said that it would be up to the party to decide who the next leader was and that person would be best suited for the job.

"The person who is going to lead the Democratic Alliance should be the best person for the job. It shouldn't matter what colour that person is, what their religion is, what their background is or where they comes from."

Steenhuisen said that he not only lost a leader in Mmusi Maimane, he also lost a friend.

But he said he disagreed with Maimane that the DA was not the viable vehicle for change in South Africa.

"I disagree with Mr Maimane that the DA is not the vehicle for change we believe it is the only viable vehicle for change in South Africa."

The DA’s Parliamentary Caucus wished Maimane well in his next chapter and thanked him for his leadership and commitment to the democratic project.