Former chief executive Paul Boughey and Jonathan Moakes, who led the DA’s election campaign, also resigned earlier. James Selfe, who announced in June that he is retiring as leader of the federal council, will head the party’s new management unit.
An interim leader and chairman will be elected by the party’s federal council – which consists of about 150 delegates – over three weeks in Johannesburg.
When asked why it takes so long to select new interim leaders, Zille explained that certain processes must be followed.
“The federal executive leadership must be reassembled. People should be notified, nominations should be requested and campaigns should be conducted. It (the interim leadership) is for a short, but important period from November to the congress, which may take place in April. “
Zille pointed out that this is not the first time a party leader has resigned, and has, among other things, Frederick van Zyl Slabbert refers who stepped down from the PFP in 1986 and caused a “major crisis” for this party.
“It happens in politics. David Cameron resigned as leader of the British Conservative Party. There is nothing strange about it. ”
Asked if she is now in control of the party in the absence of a permanent leader, Zille replied: “I assume so. Thank God it’s only for three weeks. ”
On allegations that there was a “white cape” takeover of the party, Zille wanted to know where the evidence was.
“There is no evidence or reason to say that. The only reason people say this is because it brings race into the conversation. Please state where there is a hint of proof of it.
“What you need to understand is that the whole thing originated in the review panel that analyzed the problems in the party and made recommendations. That included several leaders having to walk, and they did. This is called accountability. I know it’s a thing that South Africans don’t quite understand, but it exists in the DA. “
Zille said she couldn’t say what the feeling was in the whole party.
“It’s a big, very wide party. I wouldn’t dare say what the feeling is in the whole party, but we are stabilizing quickly. ”
Speaking about other DA members apparently also having plans to resign, Zille did not say what she had heard of. “But one can never say in politics. Things happen. . . “
She is not at all worried about the possibility of a breakaway party that may result from the resignations.
Asked if she has a message for DA voters, Zille replied: “They need to know social media is a sewer hole and full of nonsense, and people should not worry too much about it.”
Selfe said when asked that he shares Zille’s optimism about the party. “I have no doubt that we will have to roll up our sleeves and work as we have rarely worked to restore voter confidence for our party.”