DA leadership chaos: John Steenhuisen steps aside

24 October 2019 - 10:46 By ANDISIWE MAKINANA
Former DA chief whip John Steenhuisen with former party leader Mmusi Maimane.
Former DA chief whip John Steenhuisen with former party leader Mmusi Maimane.
Image: Trevor Samson

The leadership crisis in the DA intensified on Thursday when John Steenhuisen ceased to be its chief whip in the National Assembly.

“The chief whip is appointed by the leader. Since Mmusi Maimane has announced his resignation from the party and from parliament, my term ends,” Steenhuisen said on Thursday.

He said this was in line with to the party's constitution and the reason he did not attend a meeting of the National Assembly's programme committee, where the schedule and priorities of the house are decided.

Maimane announced on Wednesday that he was stepping down as party leader, but would remain the leader of the DA in parliament.

However, TimesLIVE understands that this would have been impossible, because only the leader of the party is guaranteed the position of caucus leader.

In terms of the DA's constitution, the party's caucus only elects a parliamentary leader if its federal leader is not an MP.

The DA constitution states: “The Federal Leader is automatically the leader of the parliamentary caucus if he or she is a Member of Parliament.”

Next week, the DA is scheduled to elect its parliamentary leader, who will appoint the chief whip.

Mmusi Maimane resigned as the leader of the Democratic Alliance on Wednesday October 23 2019 after a relatively short time in charge. While his political future remains uncertain, we take a look back at his tenure at the DA.

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