JOHANNESBURG - The DA’s interim leader John Steenhuisen says Mmusi Maimane still has a role to play in the party.
Steenhuisen denied that he had turned away from the former leader, saying, “one of the biggest support mechanisms for Mmusi Maimane was myself.”
“I certainly dedicated the last six years of my life to providing that support to make sure that he had a strong parliamentary presence, that the team in parliament was working well there.”
“You can’t rally around somebody who doesn’t want to be part of the organisation and he has made a personal choice around that.”
Steenhuisen denied Maimane was pushed out of the party, saying he requested the organisational review that described him as inconsistent, indecisive and conflict-averse.
“It was his own choice to go when he did and it’s a choice I think was the wrong choice. I think he should have stayed on, I think he should have fought on, but you can’t force somebody to do something they don’t want to do.”
He said Maimane belongs in the DA and suggested he should have served in a position on the bench.
Steenhuisen similarly characterised former-Johannesburg mayor Herman Mashaba as someone who belongs with the party.
“Herman Mashaba is someone who clearly lives the values of the DA,” he said.
Steenhuisen said both Maimane and Mashaba are a loss to the official opposition.