De Lille and Trollip the biggest challenges for DA in 2018: Maimane

Party leader looks ahead to 2019 elections

DA leader Mmusi Maimane, pictured here at the launch of the Eastern Cape provincial party’s #TeamOneSA campaign in Chatty, Port Elizabeth, is concentrating on the 2019 general elections
DA leader Mmusi Maimane, pictured here at the launch of the Eastern Cape provincial party’s #TeamOneSA campaign in Chatty, Port Elizabeth, is concentrating on the 2019 general elections
Image: Eugene Coetzee

Reflecting on the year that was‚ DA leader Mmusi Maimane says 2018 has had many challenges for the DA – but the party is looking forward to next year’s national elections.

Speaking to the party’s Gauteng staff on Wednesday‚ Maimane cited the removal of Athol Trollip as Nelson Mandela Bay mayor and Patricia de Lille leaving the party in Cape Town as among the difficulties the DA had encountered. 

We live in a world today where the instinct is to say that political parties must mobilise on the basis of race
Mmusi Maimane, DA leader

“This year has had its many challenges … We live in a world today where the instinct is to say that political parties must mobilise on the basis of race.

“We see it now in the UK‚ where there is such a thing as Brexit taking place. We are seeing the rise of populists all over the world. We are also seeing that the economy of the world is under stress‚” Maimane said.

“Here in South Africa‚ we are facing a similar challenge. We are being confronted on both the right and the left … The DA is not in the business of replacing a race; we are in the business of building one nation for all. We can fight among ourselves or we can build one South Africa for all.”

He said that “tsotsis became united” in Nelson Mandela Bay in their plan  to remove Trollip.

DA leader Mmusi Maimane has identified Athol Trollip's ousting as a major challenge for the party
DA leader Mmusi Maimane has identified Athol Trollip's ousting as a major challenge for the party
Image: Fredlin Adriaan

“It was tough in Nelson Mandela Bay. It was hard because tsotsis became united. I remember the day when we got the news that we had been removed out of government.

“When you form a coalition‚ you must never form a coalition on the basis of corruption … This coalition of corruption got them back in there‚” he said.

“What also took place in Cape Town‚ while necessary‚ was also difficult. We knew for a long time something was happening there. We didn’t have a choice‚ we had to act … We must not cry racial wolf all the time.

“I don’t care who you are ... I never want to find ourselves in a situation where we legitimise corruption.

“While this year has been tough in many ways‚ I am glad we went through it. We’ve landed on our feet and now we are moving ahead. If the DA does not succeed‚ South Africa will not succeed.”

- TimesLIVE

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