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party members however dismissed these, saying they did not believe in quotas.
An emboldened Maimane yesterday announced his next move, the championing of an “African liberalism” agenda.
“African liberalism means we have a liberalism that is African and not European. The European one says there is the individual who does not form part of the community and does not belong anywhere. They can’t identify as a particular colour,” Maimane told City Press.
“We are acknowledging that I am black, I am part of a family and community. Even though we are both black we can also define ourselves differently.”
He said he would promote this agenda outside the borders of South Africa. As a start, he would discuss it with opposition party leaders in the Southern African Development Community.
Maimane said he was not worried about opposition from within the party to his latest vision.
“Change does not take quickly in an organisation this size. It takes a while, so you must get people used to something.
“When you lead people you must bring everybody along with you. This agenda of African liberalism is something I am going to champion. The fundamental issue here is how do you ensure that people can identify themselves with it and say I am proud to be black.”
A number of insiders took issue with Athol Trollip, who is seeking re-election to the position of federal chairperson. They said he used the federal council’s meeting on Friday to campaign.
“He was a complete bully and raised issues around the naming of the campaign headquarters in Gauteng, saying he was not consulted. But he sits on the federal executive where it was discussed, so how could he not know?
“Anyway, it had nothing to do with the business of the day. He was just trying to get one up on Solly,” one person said. Tshwane Mayor Solly Msimanga and MP Annelie Lotriet are challenging Trollip for the post.
Another person at the meeting told City Press that it was a common occurrence for people to use the federal council sitting ahead of congress as a platform to campaign. As a result, the sitting resolved to have a policy congress ahead of the elective congress, so that matters of policy could not be used as a proxy war or campaigning gimmick.
Today, all eyes will be on Trollip and Msimanga. Both men took to the stage yesterday looking confident of winning.
However, its understood that Trollip could receive a sympathy vote on the basis of his fallout with the Economic Freedom Fighters in Nelson Mandela Bay, where he is mayor.
“Obviously this has earned him sympathy within the ranks,” said an insider.
The DA was yesterday locked in a fierce debate about refining the constitutional clause that outlines their cooperation with other political parties to form coalitions. There was also discussion on the firing of “unreasonable deployees”, which was seen as an indirect reference to Cape Town Mayor Patricia de Lille, who is facing party discipline. What do you think about the DA’s attempt to achieve diversity in its ranks without resorting to race quotas?
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