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Maimane's press briefing delayed as DA leaders remain locked in meeting

Mmusi Maimane.
Mmusi Maimane.
Image: Trevor Samson

The much-anticipated media briefing by DA leader Mmusi Maimane where he is expected to announce his resignation has been delayed. According to party spokesperson Solly Malatsi, Maimane and the federal executive are still locked in a meeting. He could not say when the press briefing would start.

The meeting was urgently convened following Herman Mashaba’s resignation as the City of Johannesburg mayor and DA councillor. It is understood that the meeting is also discussing Maimane’s intentions to resign. SowetanLIVE's sister publication TimesLIVE understands that Maimane has told some party leaders close to him that he intends to quit his job at a federal executive meeting in Johannesburg today.

A DA leader, who spoke on condition of anonymity, said Maimane had indicated that he was quitting his job because of the election of former party leader Helen Zille as the party’s federal council chair at the weekend. “He is quitting because of Helen’s election.”   

The leader said Maimane could not be convinced against his decision to quit at a meeting after Mashaba’s resignation. Maimane stood besides his ally Mashaba when he announced his resignation from the DA on Monday where he hailed him as his hero.

The meeting is discussing the impact of Mashaba’s resignation and his possible replacement. Johannesburg MMC for finance Funzi Ngobeni said he would be available for the  position of mayor of the city. Ngobeni has been touted in party circles as a possible replacement for Mashaba should the EFF keep its relationship with the DA in the council. He told Sowetan: "I will certainly be available if the party is supporting our government to continue in Joburg."

The Democratic Alliance was dealt a severe blow on Wednesday October 23 2019 as leader Mmusi Maimane and federal chair Athol Trollip stepped down from their respective positions in the party. This follows the resignation of Johannesburg mayor Herman Mashaba, who resigned on Monday October 21.