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‘It’s unfortunate that Maimane resigned’ - Steenhuisen

Mmusi Maimane’s resignation means John Steenhuisen technically ceases to be the party’s chief whip because he was appointed by him as parliamentary leader.

FILE: Speaking following the caucus meeting, former chief whip Steenhuisen said Maimane’s resignation was unfortunate and the party begged him to stay on as leader at least until the next congress. Picture: EWN

CAPE TOWN - Mmusi Maimane’s resignation from the Democratic Alliance (DA) and Parliament has had a knock-on effect and will see leaders like party MP John Steenhuisen lose their own positions.

Maimane’s resignation means Steenhuisen technically ceases to be the party’s chief whip because he was appointed by Maimane as parliamentary leader.

This means the party’s deputy chief whip Jacques Julius will take over from Steenhuisen in the interim or until the party elects a new chief whip.

On Thursday morning, the DA parliamentary caucus gathered for the first time to take stock of Maimane’s resignation and what it means for the party.

Speaking following the caucus meeting, Steenhuisen said Maimane’s resignation was unfortunate and the party begged him to stay on as leader at least until the next congress.

“I think it is unfortunate that Mr Maimane has resigned. The federal executive yesterday did its very best to ask him to remain on at least until the next congress. However, it’s his personal choice to go, and go now, and we have to respect that.”

Steenhuisen said he remained committed to the DA project to become an alternative in South Africa.

He will not be resigning as an MP and has not ruled out running for the same position of the chief whip when the party decides in about a week.

Meanwhile, political analyst Ebrahim Fakir said the party has to go through a period of stabilisation.

Additional reporting by Clement Manyathela