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The race for DA top post officially under way

The DA's Gauteng member of the legislature Makashule Gana, Western Cape leader Bonginkosi Madikizela and parliamentary leader John Steenhuisen will go head-to-head.

Makashule Gana. Picture: Facebook

JOHANNESBURG - The lobbying and campaigning for who will become the next Democratic Alliance (DA) leader has officially begun.

The party's Gauteng member of the legislature Makashule Gana, Western Cape leader Bonginkosi Madikizela and parliamentary leader John Steenhuisen will go head-to-head hoping to replace Mmusi Maimane.

Maimane and former federal chair Athol Trollip resigned from the party last week.

Dharmesh Dhaya, Ivan Meyer, Khume Ramulifho and Nomafrench Mbombo will contest the position of federal chair.

Ideological differences on race and diversity split the party in the middle leading to Maimane's shock departure.

This is Makashule's approach to this issue: “Race is a matter and other issues of diversity… We can’t shy away from the past that we come from and we need to learn from our past.”

Madikizela has a different view: “I don’t think race must be a proxy for empowerment because there are many black people who are billionaires.”

But both agree that contrary to their former leader's assertions, the DA is still the vehicle best suited to unite South Africans.

'LEADERSHIP ISSUES WON’T BE EASY'

DA federal chairperson Helen Zille said fixing the party's leadership issues would not be easy.

She addressed the Cape Town Press Club on Thursday where she spoke of Maimane’s resignation, which has thrown the official opposition into turmoil.

Zille said after having learnt Maimane and Trollip intended to resign, she tried to persuade them to change their minds.

“The problem in the DA is a problem of leadership and not race. We’ve got to fix it and it’s not an easy thing.”

(Edited by Refilwe Pitjeng)

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