The rebirth of the DA was not a natural event. It was a caesarean section, in which the scalpels were wielded by the “independent review panel” that diagnosed the DA’s 2019 election debacle.

The panellists — party strategist Ryan Coetzee, former leader Tony Leon and funder Michiel Le Roux — complained in October 2019 of “a failure of effective leadership” on the part of Mmusi Maimane, “a lack of clarity about the party’s vision and direction”, and a “failure to produce a credible policy platform”.

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