PETER BRUCE: Helen Zille, history, revenge and Selfe interest
If Zille wins next week she and Maimane would, in theory, co-lead the DA into the next election cycle. It won’t end well
Former DA leader and former Western Cape premier and former mayor of Cape Town Helen Zille has thrown the cat among the pigeons by deciding to contest an upcoming election to replace the party’s hugely powerful federal council chair, James Selfe. The election will take place at the same time as the council receives a key report on its poor showing in last May’s election, on October 18. That’s Friday next week.
Zille’s attempted return to party power is a huge moment for the DA and has sent some party bosses scrambling to find out if she can be prevented from standing. Under Mmusi Maimane, handpicked by Zille to replace her as leader in 2015, the party creamed the 2016 local government elections but with Jacob Zuma gone by the time the 2019 general elections came round, and not having found a successful message to replace its decade of Zuma bashing, the DA was hammered in May.