Carol Paton Writer at Large

DA leader Mmusi Maimane tried on Tuesday to assert his grip on the party, saying steps are under way to take action against former Western Cape premier Helen Zille for her comments on social media. In comments after the party’s first caucus meeting of the new parliament, Maimane, who has seen his authority questioned after becoming its first leader to oversee a drop in support during a national election, recommitted the DA to being "a party of the centre". He was speaking on the steps of parliament as MPs arrived in Cape Town before being sworn in on Wednesday. It has been a torrid few weeks for the DA, which also saw its public image battered by ill-disciplined comments by high-profile members on Twitter. The election losses meant its caucus in the 400-seat national assembly fell by five to 84. Maimane said that the party had initiated action against Zille as well as two other MPs — Ghaleb Cachalia and Michael Cardo — who were under investigation for contravening the party’s social...

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