Extract

 

Mmusi Maimane, leader of the DA, was on a flight to Cape Town last Wednesday. So apparently, was former Springbok Bryan Habana. Habana spent a lot of time smiling and telling people what he was doing now. Mmusi looked serious. He was on the phone. A friend sitting close to both of them said they heard the DA leader say this election was just impossible to predict.

How awful it must be for him.

 

I WhatsApped a friend who knows the DA. Why would Maimane be unsure about the elections? Did the party not used to have the finest polling machinery in the land? “He knows exactly what the DA is on,” replied my friend, “down to decimal points.”

Of course he does. How stupid of me. Perhaps things are just not going so well. Former DA leader Tony Leon is still emphatic about one thing in the DA — leaders who lose ground in elections are replaced. So I hope Maimane gets marginally more votes on May 8 than Helen Zille did back in 2014. He is a decent, utterly clean chap and although RW Johnson is cruel to him in his fabulous new book, Fighting for the Dream, for not having any experience, the only way to get experience is to get it, and that’s what’s happening now. By this time in two weeks we’ll also know down to the last decimal how South Africans voted. The Institute of Race Relations will publish a final, credible poll on Monday May 6. Assuming we remain the conservative bunch we have always been, there’ll be a bit more for the EFF, possibly a bit less for the DA and a bit more or a bit less for the ANC — who the hell knows? But for the DA the aftermath of the elections is huge because while it will take the Western Cape...

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