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Thread: Tony Leon to stand down as leader of the DA

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    Site Caretaker Dave A's Avatar
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    Tony Leon to stand down as leader of the DA

    It seems it's not just the ANC that are looking for new leaders in the coming year.

    Tony Leon will step down as leader of the official opposition Democratic Alliance (DA) in May, he told reporters in Johannesburg on Sunday. He said 13 years in office is "the absolute upper limit of effective leadership".

    "There is a danger, over time, that no matter how healthy or vigorous the internal workings of an organisation ... that the identity and branding of the party will be almost completely absorbed into the identity and personality of its leader," Leon said.

    "This is not good for the health of the party -- or the nation -- and come to think of it, not particularly good for my health either!"

    Leon will, however, remain an MP and continue writing a book he has been commissioned to publish.
    full story from M&G here
    The trouble with opportunity is it normally comes dressed up as work.

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    just me duncan drennan's Avatar
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    Caught this on the news tonight. I think it is a good move and I hope they manage to go through the change in a healthy way. It brings up an interesting question of rotation of positions....but I think I'll raise that elsewhere.
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    Site Caretaker Dave A's Avatar
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    It hasn't taken long for the media to start "identifying candidates".

    The four are: Cape Town mayor Helen Zille; the party's national chairman, Joe Seremane; Theuns Botha, who leads the party in the Western Cape; and an interesting compromise candidate, Athol Trollip, the Eastern Cape leader.
    full story from News24 here
    The trouble with opportunity is it normally comes dressed up as work.

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    just me duncan drennan's Avatar
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    They mentioned Zille on the news last night too - I was just wondering how that would affect her position as mayor of CT though. Anyone know what would happen if she was elected as leader?
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    Site Caretaker Dave A's Avatar
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    Zille has got good media exposure of late and I'm sure would be a popular choice, but I think Cape Town would miss her and their time of need is now.

    Joe Seremane seems "next in line" as it were, and would erase some of the stereotypes of the DA. But let's see what happens. As I recall Tony Leon pretty well appeared out of the blue. I just hope the eventual leader will have broader appeal.
    The trouble with opportunity is it normally comes dressed up as work.

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    just me duncan drennan's Avatar
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    I find who is saying what quite interesting...from COSATU

    Meanwhile, the Congress of South African Trade Unions (Cosatu) welcomed Leon's announcement, saying he would do best to go.

    "Under his leadership the DA has shifted from a liberal ideology to an outright right-wing, conservative stance. He became a shop steward for big business and an enemy of the workers," Cosatu spokesperson Patrick Craven said.
    And from the IFP (Buthelezi)

    Inkatha Freedom Party leader Mangosuthu Buthelezi, however, praised Leon as "a staunch patriot to the tips of his fingers".

    His departure will "leave a considerable gap in our Parliament and public life at a difficult time for our country", Buthelezi said. "He has a supple ability to marshal words and ideas to sustain his case and then use them to devastating effect against his political opponents; and that, importantly, is how he saw those on the opposing benches: as opponents, not enemies."
    Both from the article originally quoted on the M&G
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