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Zille looks forward with fresh team

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Boksburg - Democratic Alliance leader Helen Zille said on Sunday that many people were critical of her leadership.

“People are welcome to be critical of me,” she said at a post-congress media briefing in Boksburg.

She said the party would form the nucleus of a new political force that would govern South Africa sooner than people think.

“This is the team that will take forward the realignment of politics in South Africa,” said Zille.

The DA clarified that Mmusi Maimane, who was elected as one of three deputy federal chairs, would remain a spokesperson as well. Makashule Gana, who was also elected as a deputy federal chairperson, would remain the party's youth leader as well.

The party said each leader had been elected in a vigorous, free and fair democratic process.

Zille reiterated that only individuals could endorse candidates.

This was in response to a media report that allegations of unfair campaigning in Limpopo had emerged days before the party's congress.

BDlive reported that there were claims that Limpopo provincial leader Jacques Smalle was exerting “undue pressure” on delegates to support the re-election of federal chairperson Wilmot James.

There was also controversy over campaigning and endorsement of candidates.

DA MP Masizole Mnqasela, who challenged James for the position, on Wednesday laid a formal complaint with the party’s federal legal commission against Smalle for “violating an important section of the campaign and voting procedures”, the publication reported.

Mnqasela claimed that Smalle said “the Limpopo provincial leadership” was endorsing James, when DA rules state that “no structure or formation of the party may endorse any candidate”.

Zille said: “Individuals may endorse, structures may not.”

She said the federal legal commission made a ruling on the matter and adjudicated in Mnqasela's favour.

She said the corrections had been made. - Sapa

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