To: All DA Members and Federal Congress Delegates
A few weeks ago, Helen Zille decided to stand down as our party’s leader in a selfless act that demonstrated the qualities of leadership that are all too rare in our political landscape. She did so because of the need for new leadership to take the party forward after leading the DA through an unprecedented period of growth and success.
Having consolidated key elements of the opposition, we have established ourselves as a party of government. Over nearly a decade, we have built a proud record of what we can do when given the tools to govern. The results are there for all to see: economic and social progress; clean audits; transparent processes; high-quality services; cross-subsidisation of the poor; historic and fair redistribution; and the drive to build a society on the principles of redress and reconciliation. In so doing, we have increased our share of the vote substantially.
The DA has reached the next stage of its political evolution. It is now our task to become a realistic and credible alternative to the governing party of the day – an alternative that is ready and able to provide leadership as a national government. South Africa is in crisis and in need of a different direction and it is our responsibility to provide it.
I believe that Mmusi Maimane is the person to lead our party and create a political home for all South Africans in search of this direction. I have had the benefit of discussing our future with Mmusi personally and I believe in his vision for the DA and for the country. Once his message reaches all party members, I have little doubt that, like me, you will find within it the drive and spirit needed to change South Africa.
Like Mmusi, I am a relatively recent member of the DA. Like him, I do not believe that you have to have time served to demonstrate leadership or embrace an ideal. You have to have the right abilities and the right principles required for the task at hand. At this historic moment, Mmusi has these in abundance.
After over 20 years of democracy, ours is still a society in transition. But we need not be mere spectators in the great currents of history. We can be active participants; participants who shape their own future. For the sake of our party and our country, the time to act is now and the person to lead us into a better future is Mmusi Maimane.
Patricia De Lille
DA Member and DA Leader in the Western Cape