Maimane says DA review is 'not a referendum' on leadership performance

07 October 2019 - 16:22 By Andisiwe Makinana
DA leader Mmusi Maimane is adamant that an organisational review he instituted following the party's electoral decline in the May 8 general elections was not a referendum on his leadership. File photo.
DA leader Mmusi Maimane is adamant that an organisational review he instituted following the party's electoral decline in the May 8 general elections was not a referendum on his leadership. File photo.
Image: Rogan Ward

Democratic Alliance leader Mmusi Maimane is standing his ground, and remains resolute that an organisational review he instituted following the party's electoral decline in the May 8 general elections was not a referendum on his leadership.

This comes a day after the Sunday Times revealed that the three-man organisational review panel - made up of Ryan Coetzee, Tony Leon and Michiel le Roux - asked Maimane to leave his position in the best interests of the party.


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“It must be made clear the review is not a referendum on the leadership of the party [but] rather on how we improve and renew the organisation,” Maimane said on Monday.

He said the review panel was tasked with conducting an organisational review of the party, including how it engaged voters, how it governs and how it can improve strategy, structures and systems into the future.

Maimane made the comment in a letter dated October 7 and addressed to all the structures of the DA, and seen by TimesLIVE.

He revealed that the panel agreed to present its draft report, complete with recommendations, to the federal executive [FedEx] on Friday, ahead of the report being tabled before the Federal Council for deliberation and adoption on October 19 and 20.

The Sunday Times reported that the panel would be recommending to the federal council that the DA should go into an early congress to elect new leadership, and that should the proposed early congress be convened, Maimane should not avail himself for election as the party was in need of new leaders.

The other recommendation would be for leadership changes in DA-led metros such as Tshwane, Johannesburg and Cape Town.

Maimane also revealed in the letter that he would be meeting the four candidates running for the position of federal council chair to request that internal campaigning was conducted in an upstanding and non-divisive manner.

“Rather than slating the party and its leadership in public, candidates ought to demonstrate to delegates what they have to offer the party,” he said.

In the letter, headlined “Status of the party and the way forward”,  Maimane acknowledged that the party found itself “in a tough space”, both internally and externally. He described this as a defining moment for its direction, and that of the nation.

He appealed to all public representatives and members of the DA to conduct themselves in a way which strengthens the party and not weakens it.

“The behaviour of some members is unhelpful to the party, whether it be a media interview, social posts, or other forms of public communication. This behaviour stops today,” he wrote.

“Our opponents are relishing this behaviour while South Africa suffers as a consequence. We ought to be dispensers of hope, bringing together South Africans on the basis of shared values. However, it appears some are intent on doing the very opposite."

The party that promises 'One South Africa for All' has been accused of all talk and no action. The DA has found itself in multiple sticky situations, garnering criticism from all sides. Herman Mashaba, Mmusi Maimane and Solly Msimanga are some of the DA leaders who have found themselves in hot water. From illegal tender claims to an alleged Steinhoff-sponsored SUV. Many have questioned the DA's leadership and DA-led municipalities as they shift from one controversy to another.


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