Six telling quotes from DA's new federal council chair's address - 'I will stay in my lane', says Helen Zille

21 October 2019 - 11:56 By Cebelihle Bhengu
Helen Zille is the party's new federal council chair, where she will play 'a background role'
Helen Zille is the party's new federal council chair, where she will play 'a background role'

Newly elected DA federal council chair Helen Zille on Sunday promised not to meddle in the leadership role of Mmusi Maimane, but will instead “stay in my lane” and ensure the smooth running of the party.

Zille beat Athol Trollip, Mike Waters and Thomas Walters, who also put their names forward for one of the party's most influential and powerful positions.

Here's her address in five telling quotes:

I will stay in my lane

“I was very humbled and grateful to have been elected and I know exactly what this role entails. I will stay in my lane. This is a job that co-ordinates different structures, functions and processes of the DA.”

Transparency is key

“It is absolutely critical in this role that one conducts it freely and fairly so that everybody knows they will be equal before the law and the processes of the DA, and that their future and their chances will not depend on which leader they are close to.”

I'm no leader

“My job will be to ensure that everything runs smoothly. I will not be the leader. I will play the background role and I will stay in my lane. I will participate where it is appropriate for me to do so and speak where it is appropriate for me to do so, and ensure that our structures and systems work.”

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I will support Mmusi

“I respect and support the leader and the leadership and I will do my very best to ensure  they are successful and that they can take the DA to the next peak we have to reach. The stakes could not be higher, and the DA offers a profoundly different vision which we believe is the make or break for SA, but more than that for a world that is becoming increasingly plural and complex.”

I've played supporting roles before 

“I have often played backroom roles in my life but you don't know about them because by definition backroom roles are backroom roles. You've only seen me in leadership roles. I'm happy to do what the role requires of me, to understand the job description.”

Maimane is a true leader

“I would like to pay tribute to the leader for the way he focused this federal council, his integrity in calling the review commission and his management of the honest discussion  we had. There is no party in SA,and very few in the world, where a leader would have done such a thing.”

Herman Mashaba has resigned as the mayor of Johannesburg on October 21 2019. His resignation comes after former DA leader Helen Zille was elected as the party's new federal council chairperson.