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Zille: There was no conspiracy to regain control of DA

Democratic Alliance (DA) federal council chairperson Helen Zille has labelled talks of a conspiracy that had been brewing for months as absurd.

FILE: Democratic Alliance Federal Council chair Helen Zille. Picture: Sethembiso Zulu/EWN.

CAPE TOWN - Democratic Alliance (DA) federal council chairperson Helen Zille has shot down talk that she conspired to regain control of the party.

Addressing the Cape Town Press Club in Newlands on Thursday, she confirmed she had no desire to run for the position of national leader.

She reiterated that Mmusi Maimane's resignation came as a surprise.

Zille said that she initially had no desire to run for the position of federal council chair.

"One of my colleagues phoned me and said: 'Are you an idiot? You shouldn't be standing for the chair of the Bloubergstrand branch, you should be standing as our federal council chair.' I mentioned ti to my husband and he said: "Have you lost your marbles?' I thought long and hard on it and then thought 'no'. The next morning he woke and said to me: 'I've been thinking about it and I think you should at least put your hat in the ring.'"

She has labelled talks of a conspiracy that had been brewing for months as absurd.

Zille maintained that Maimane's resignation as party leader and then from Parliament and the DA was unexpected and they tried to persuade him to rethink.

"I tried to persuade him and I thought we'd agreed that Mmusi would stay on as parliamentary leader until congress. The truth was I was sitting there trying to chair a meeting and I realised that something was happening that I am not aware of, and in fact, no one was aware of and I start getting WhatsApp messages from the media saying 'can we please get a comment on Mmusi's resignation.'"