Port Elizabeth – Democratic Alliance parliamentary leader Mmusi Maimane was elected as the new head of the opposition party, at the party’s congress in Port Elizabeth on Sunday.
“And the winer is, your new leader is, Mmusi Maimane” said outgoing federal leader Helen Zille to the roars and shrieks of the crowd.
Confetti fell down and stage fireworks erupted.
Zille and Maimane embraced.
Maimane is the first black leader of the opposition party that garnered 22.23 percent of the national vote in last year’s elections.
The federal leadership position was contested by Maimane, outgoing federal chair Wilmot James and two other members Adrian Naidoo and Morgan Oliphant.
Earlier, Maimane was given an award for best fundraiser.
While waiting for the announcement, the crowd had chanted ”Mmusi, Mmusi”.
Also announced at the federal congress, held over the weekend at the Boardwalk conference centre, were the appointments to the federal council, three deputy federal chairpersons and the federal chairperson result.
They were: first deputy chair Ivan Meyer, second was Refiloe Ntsekhe and third Desiree van der Walt. Federal chair was Athol Trollip
On April 12, Zille announced that she would not seek re-election as party leader at the congress, after eight years at the helm.
At the time, Zille said she would continue as Western Cape Premier until the end of her term in mid-2019.
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