Pietermaritzburg DA councillors fully behind new leader Mmusi Maimane

Pietermaritzburg Democratic Alliance councillors have welcomed the election of Mmusi Maimane as leader of the official opposition, expressing a feeling of optimism and predicting continuing growth for the party.
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“It was a fantastic election, with massive support,” Rodger Ashe, the DA’s Chief Whip, said of the elective congress, which was held in Port Elizabeth. “I think it is the beginning of an exciting new direction for us, with Mmusi being the first black leader of the DA. It shows that the party is not a white party. It is a party for all.”

Councillor Glen McArthur said he enjoyed the congress. “It’s very exciting. I went down to Port Elizabeth and it was one of the best congresses that we have had,” he reckoned. “It is the beginning of a new era. Everybody brings something new to the party. Everybody brings something exciting to the party.”

Looking ahead, he added: “In politics, things can change in 24 hours, but at the moment we definitely feel we are on the way up. We are hoping to extend our reach beyond the Western Cape to places like Tshwane and Nelson Mandela Bay. Those are very realistic expectations. These are exciting times.”

Councillor Rooksana Ahmed welcomed the change, saying: “We are all thrilled because change is always good. As far as we are concerned in the DA, we are very happy with the outcome. In the DA, elections are always free and fair. It is about the people at the end of the day. Whoever is chosen as our leader, we work together because we believe in an open society for all in South Africa.”

Emphasising the importance of electing the right person for the job, she continued: “It is so important who we choose as our leaders, so that we can make a difference to people who do not have a voice. We need to make a difference to the people that are forgotten.”
Ward 28 Councillor Nithia Govender praised Helen Zille for stepping aside at the right time, calling her “a fantastic leader”, while also enthusiastically throwing his support behind the election of the 34-year-old Maimane.

Dave Ryder, who is councillor for a number of northern suburbs, said the DA had high hopes for Maimane and for the party under him.”There are great expectations of Mmusi Maimane as he takes over the leader position at the DA. He brings a new enthusiasm and dynamism to the party to which people are already responding. The first major challenge he and his leadership team have is to take the party to a successful local government election result next year. We are solidly behind him and he has our full support,” Ryder said.

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