Helen Zille will not stand for another term as DA leader

Helen Zille will not stand for another term as Democratic Alliance (DA) leader at the next Federal Congress of that party to be held on May 9, 2015, she made the announcement on Sunday April 12, 2015. Google+

Helen Zille“I have had to decide whether or not to stand for another term as leader at this year’s Federal Congress on 9 May,” Helen Zille said at the press conference held on Sunday.

“From the start, I resolved that the outer limit of my term as party leader would be ten years, not because the party’s constitution prescribes this but because I believe every political party needs renewal and fresh blood after a decade, no matter how well the incumbent team has performed,” she told the media.

“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,” Helen Zille said.

Helen Zille will see out her term as the Premier of the Western Cape province.

She was elected leader of the Democratic Alliance on May 6, 2007 replacing Tony Leon.

Leading what was referred to as the “Blue Machine”, Helen Zille brought forward a number of young black politician, most notably the incumbent Parliamentary leader Mmusi Maimane and his predecessor Lindiwe Mazibuko.

Under Helen Zille‘s guidance the democratic alliance, a party that has always been perceived as white and remnants of the of the National Party of the apartheid times, grew in leaps and bounds while making significant gains in the black communities.

She helped the party maintain sustained growth in the only province it governs, Western Cape.

Helen Zille led Democratic Alliance, although assisted by great political maneuvering caused by instability within the African National Congress (ANC), grew it’s over all national vote by 5.57 from 16.66 to 22.23 at the 2014 General Election of South Africa.

Her leadership has not been without controversy which includes the questionable departure of Lindiwe Mazibuko, a failed coalition with Mamphela Ramphele’s Agang SA as well as many controversial remarks – including her views on the Xhosa people in the Western Cape.

Helen Zille’s impending departure has left Mmusi Maimane widely tipped as the next leader of the Democratic Alliance; however, there are also questions about the future of black leaders within that party.

Meanwhile Lindiwe Mazibuko has made it clear that she will not be returning to South Africa to stand for election as the leader of the DA; “I wish to clarify that I will not be making myself available for election to any leadership post at the DA’s 2015 Congress,” she tweeted on Monday April 13, 2015.

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