Former Democratic Alliance leader, Mmusi Maimane, has announced that he will leave the party.
In a statement published on his personal Twitter account on Thursday (24 October), Maimane said that he would also step down from his role in parliament.
“I have worked tirelessly to build the project of One SA for All. It’s been my greatest honour to serve the people of SA and will continue to do so,” he said.
“I have today resigned from the DA and Parliament. Thank you to the people of this country for your faith in our nation. God bless SA.”
The announcement follows Maimane’s decision to step down as DA leader on Wednesday evening. In a heavily delayed press briefing, Maimane said that he made the decision after a “sober and honest assessment”.
In his briefing, he addressed his strategy as leader of the party, and how his goal was to cement diversity as a core value in the DA and to build support to challenge the ANC.
“I truly believed that for the DA to become a party in government, it needed to look, and feel and operate as a party for all citizens,” he said. But he admitted that the DA had a problem gaining the trust of the larger black South African population, being seen as a party for minorities.
In this, under his leadership, the party shifted focus to grassroots activism and enjoyed successes in uniting South Africans under the DA banner and shifting power in many of the country’s largest metros.
He stressed that the aim of this focus was not to alienate white South Africans, but rather to promote diversity within the party and the country.
“In the last few months, it has become clear that there are those within the DA that do not see eye to eye with me, or share this vision for the party or the direction it was taking,” he said.
‘There have been coordinated attacks on me and my leadership, in a bid to ensure this project failed, or I failed.”
“At the end of the day, the DA has always been a vehicle to carry this vision. And I am still committed to that vision,” he said. “But in the end, despite my best efforts, I have concluded that perhaps the DA is not the best vehicle for me to continue pursuing this vision.”
During the same media briefing, former mayor of Nelson Mandela Bay and party chairman, Athol Trollip also announced that he is quitting the Democratic Alliance.
Trollip and Maimane’s exit mark the third big loss of leadership by the DA this week after Joburg mayor Herman Mashaba announced his resignation on Monday.