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Mmusi Maimane plans to step down as DA leader today: Sources

Mmusi Maimane.
Mmusi Maimane.
Image: Trevor Samson

The DA's Mmusi Maimane has called a press conference for Wednesday afternoon - amid speculation that he intends stepping down as party leader.

The time of the press conference has shifted from 1pm to 3pm, and will be held in Johannesburg.

SowetanLIVE 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.

The fed-ex meeting was originally scheduled to discuss City of Johannesburg mayor Herman Mashaba’s surprise resignation on Monday.

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.

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,” said the leader. 

The leader said Maimane could not be convinced against his decision to quit the leadership position, at a meeting after Mashaba’s resignation.

Maimane was present at Mashaba’s news conference to announce his resignation and shocked many when he labelled the outgoing mayor his hero, a few moments after the businessman slammed the DA.

“He wants to step down, only as party leader ... because he is under siege,” a DA leader said of Maimane.

Herman Mashaba resigned from his post as Johannesburg mayor on October 21 2019. He listed unhappiness with the direction of the DA as a major factor for his departure. This leaves an uncertain future for the coalition in the city. Sunday Times political reporter Zingisa Mvumvu reports.

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