Democratic Alliance leader Mmusi Maimane with Athol Trollip, centre, at the Babs Madlakane Hall in Uitenhage, March 20 2018. Picture: WERNER HILLS
Democratic Alliance leader Mmusi Maimane with Athol Trollip, centre, at the Babs Madlakane Hall in Uitenhage, March 20 2018. Picture: WERNER HILLS

The DA will on Sunday afternoon know who will complete the top leadership structures in the party.

The newly elected leadership will take the party into its 2019 national election campaign.

Voting for leadership positions started at 6am on Sunday morning and was set to conclude by 9am. An announcement was expected to take place by 13:00 on Sunday.

Mmusi Maimane stood uncontested as leader of the party, while James Selfe, the chairman of the federal executive, also retained his position after not being contested.

The key contest is for the position of the federal chairperson, a post currently held by Athol Trollip. Trollip, who is also mayor of Nelson Mandela Bay, has thrown his name in the hat again, but is being challenged by Tshwane mayor Solly Msimanga and Annelie Lotriet, provincial chairperson in the DA in the Free State.

Feverish campaigning continued on the first day of the congress on Saturday, with delegates openly indicating who they would support. Posters, T-shirts, stickers and endorsements on social media indicated where loyalties lay.

Trollip told Business Day on Saturday that he took nothing for granted in politics,but that he would work "until the last vote is counted."

"I respect this position highly, so I am not just hoping to get votes. I am going to do whatever I can to convince every delegate to vote for me. It’s a very important position in this party, and important positions deserve to be fought for. I am prepared to fight for it and I believe I will win," Trollip said.

He said that he had served in the position for the last three years, and that he believed it was "an incredibly successful three years", as the leadership met all the objectives it set for the party, especially in terms of their electoral targets.

Msimanga officially announced his candidacy weeks ago, and has been endorsed by provincial leaders such as the DA’s KwaZulu-Natal leader Zwakele Mncwango, who took to Facebook on Saturday, indicating that his focus would be to get the majority of KZN delegates to put its vote behind Msimanga.

Msimanga had said in his original announcement that it was his intention if he was elected as federal chair to assist the leadership of the party in bringing transformative governance, as he had put in place in Tshwane, "to our new and old governments throughout the country and uniting the party and people behind One Vision and One Mission."

He had said then that the congress presented an opportunity to elect a national leadership that will work together to bring the ANC below 50% and to win the Gauteng province "without any coalition for this is the change the people of Gauteng and South Africa are ready for."

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