Helen Zille steps down as head of the DA.
Zille says she will not be contesting the party’s federal congress elections in May. The Western Cape Premier made the announcement at a media briefing at OR Tambo International Airport in Johannesburg. she will continue to lead the Western Cape as premier but has decided to step aside for a new leader to take over the reigns of the party.
Here is an exert from her press release – “So, from the day I was elected on May 6 2007, I knew that if I was re-elected at subsequent Congresses, the outside limit of my leadership term would be the 2017/8 Congress. In the last few years I have often asked myself whether I should stay till then, or whether the party would benefit from fresh blood to remain exciting and relevant, and grow its support base to build the non-racial centre of South African politics.
Facing the upcoming congress I have spent months wondering whether it is time to go now, or whether I should wait two more years. While May 2015 may be slightly too early, the greater risk is that May 2017 may be slightly too late. And I would rather err on the side of being ahead of my time. I have, therefore, decided not to make myself available for re-election as leader at the forthcoming Congress.
This decision has, paradoxically, been a long time coming — but when the time was right, it was taken quickly, even suddenly. On Thursday last week, I took a firm decision that I would not stand for re-election as leader next month.”
The overriding reason has been what I believe are the interests of the DA.
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