Why Bonginkosi Madikizela withdrew from DA leadership race
Bonginkosi Madikizela had indicated his intention to run for the post vacated by Mmusi Maimane who resigned last month.
Madikizela had indicated his intention to run for the post vacated by Mmusi Maimane who resigned last month.
However, he withdrew on Monday, just a week to go before interim leaders will be elected.
Madikizela said before he made a decision to run for national leader, he discussed all possibilities with the DA Western Cape leadership.
He said the party was given a fresh mandate in the Western Cape and he did not want to get side-tracked with national leadership duties.
Madikizela also said he was given a critical portfolio in the form of Transport and Public Works and wanted to focus on using the department to leverage economic growth.
He agrees with the party's provincial leadership collective that a prominent national role will divide his attention with only a few months in office.
Madikizela’s decision leaves the party’s parliamentary leader John Steenhuisen and member of the Gauteng provincial legislature Makashule Gana as the only two candidates.
Madikizela said he would be disappointed if the leadership of the party were to be dominated by a single race.
Maimane was clear about his vision for the organisation.
He often stressed the need for the party’s top leadership structures to be diverse and to be representative of its supporters on the ground.
If Steenhuizen emerges victorious this weekend as the party’s leader, he will join Natasha Mazzone who is the party’s chief whip and Helen Zille who is the Federal Council chair while maintaining his position as parliamentary leader.
Madikizela was asked what this would do to the already existing perception that the DA is a white party.
“I would have a problem if those individuals who appear to be from one race are elected.”
He said he was considering contesting for the position of party leader at the DA’s early elective congress in April next year.
Elections for the party leader will be held this weekend.