“Very often people have asked me: ‘How long will you stay as leader of the Democratic Alliance?’ and I’ve always answered, ‘I will know when the time is right'”, Helen Zille said on April 12. In the same breath she announced that she would not run for the top post for inner-party elections on May 9, 2015. 64-year-old Zille, a former anti-apartheid activist and ex-mayor of Cape Town, has led the DA since 2007. At the time, the DA was often referred to as the ‘two percent party’, as that was the weight it had amongst South Africa’s electorate. It became an official opposition party in 1999, but has its origins in the 1960s when it was led by prominent white anti-apartheid activists. In 2007, most DA voters were still white South Africans. But the party has grown significantly despite the overwhelming pull of South Africa’s biggest party, the African National Congress (ANC) which, as South Africa’s first freely elected party, always had a strong support base. Under Zille’s leadership, the DA attracted more than 23 percent of the votes from both blacks and whites in the last general elections in 2014. It now also controls the Western Cape as… Read full this story
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