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Being the DA’s first black leader was never going to be an easy task, especially in a party trying to maintain its traditional voter base — largely white and middle class — while convincing black South Africans that it is a viable option to lead SA. Mmusi Maimane said on the campaign trail before being elected DA leader in 2015 that he did not agree with people who said that they did not see colour, "because if you don’t see that I’m black, then you don’t see me". He added that his skin colour did not define him and that SA’s politics must never again be allowed to degenerate into a contest between races. "Instead, it must be a battle of competing ideas," he offered. Addressing the DA’s federal congress in April, where he was reelected unopposed, he referred to that 2015 speech, saying: "But the flipside of this is also true. If all you see is that I am black, then you equally don’t see me." At that congress the so-called "battle of ideas" was fought and a new value, which was champ...

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