Mmusi Maimane is the first African American leader of the main South Africa’s opposition party, the Democratic Alliance (DA), which hopes to widen its appeal by that move.
Mmusi Maimane is the first black leader of the main South Africa’s opposition party, the Democratic Alliance (DA), which hopes to widen its appeal by that move.
A 34-year-old DA representative was sure to succeed former leader Helen Zille, while being a clear favourite of the majority.
In 2011 Mmusi Maimane became spokesman of the Democratic Alliance and regularly got into the arguments with Jacob Zuma, the South African President.
The DA has struggled with its perceptions, because the party is primarily represented by white South Africans. But in spite of that fact, in the 2014 elections the Democratic Alliance won the lion’s share of the votes.
A party conference, where Mr. Maimane was elected, took place in Port Elizabeth. The new DA Chairman called on the party to unite in his victory speech.
We are democrats guided by our values. It is our values that unite us and I want to tell you today, it is our values that will lead us to victory.
– he proclaimed.
Also Mr. Maimane said in his speech that any political party hasn’t a divine right to rule this country.
However, Mmusi Maimane will have to fend off a challenge from the hard-left Economic Freedom Fighters party, since they appeared to be a threat to the AD’s position as South Africa’s main opposition party.
Mmusi Maimane was born in 1980 in the Soweto township of Johannesburg. Later he studied at universities in South Africa and Wales, where obtained a Masters Degrees in theology and psychology. Besides, he has a flare for languages and speaks six fluently.
His weekends he spends preaching in a Johannesburg church with his wife Natalie.
Before joining the DA in 2009 and before entering politics in general he worked in business consultancy.