DA leader Mmusi Maimane has acknowledged that his party has made mistakes, but believes that scandals such as the Life Esidimeni tragedy, in which more than 140 psychiatric patients died, and state capture would not happen under his party’s rule. This specific line in Maimane’s address on Saturday during the DA’s manifesto launch in Johannesburg highlighted the party’s underlying message that it was not the same as the ANC and that where it governed, it did it better. The DA has positioned itself as an alternative government, that runs three of the country’s eight metros, either in coalition such as in Tshwane and Johannesburg, or with a full-out majority like it does in Cape Town. But the past year has been a difficult one for the party. In 2018 it was embroiled in a bitter fight with its former mayor of Cape Town Patricia De Lille, it lost the Nelson Mandela Bay metro and faced internal battles over policy decisions. In the 2019 general elections it has set its eye on the premiers...

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