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Helen Zille to stand for top DA job

CAPE TOWN SOUTH AFRICA -Former DA national leader Helen Zille is planning on returning to the higher echelons of the party, availing herself for the position of federal council chairperson.

Zille, a former premier of the Western Cape, took to social media on Friday to make the surprise announcement that she was contesting for the powerful federal chair position.

The position is full-time and, if she wins it, it would put Zille in charge of the DA’s day-to -day affairs.

Zille told OgeneAfrica that she made the decision to stand after several top party leaders this week persuaded her to do so. The post is to be vacated by James Selfe at the end October.

Nominations for the position were due to close on Friday.

The DA is due to elect Selfe’s replacement at its federal council later this month. Selfe earlier this year resolved to quit the position he has occupied for almost two decades to be the head of DA governance.

Zille’s unexpected announcement comes as the DA is embroiled in an ugly public spat, with top MPs taking party leader Mmusi Maimane to task after revelations over his rented Cape Town home and that he had been using a vehicle donated by disgraced former Steinhoff CEO Markus Jooste.

In her announcement, Zille said the DA had been plagued by “turmoil and distress” in the last few months.

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