The last time a leader of the DA was elected by a full national congress, it was a coronation rather than a contest. That was back in May 2018, when Mmusi Maimane, already certain of his second term at the helm of the DA, stood unopposed to lead SA’s second-largest party.

Now, there is little in the way of certainty as the DA heads into a virtual elective conference — the first of its kind for SA and a watershed of sorts for the DA. The party is returning to its liberal roots, and has shed the social democratic experiment that took shape under Maimane...

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