Paul Boughey said in his letter of resignation as chief executive of the Democratic Alliance (DA) that the process of self-reflection was ‘necessary’ for the party ‘to strengthen itself’.

Boughey, who had held the senior post for five years, said he had ‘no doubt that the leadership and broader membership of the DA will rise to this moment, that it will recalibrate and come back even stronger to face the challenges of election 2021 and beyond’.

The former CEO added: ‘In a country and increasingly global landscape characterized by the rise of competing nationalisms, the DA’s vision and values have never been more important to South Africa’s future. I can only now wish the leadership well in their endeavours.’

He said he was ‘always struck how much criticism the party and its leadership come under, when all too often so much of this critique is made (by people who were) blissfully unaware of how complex and important the DA and its cause is to South Africa’.

The party was ‘blessed to have as part of its professional staff component such a dynamic, diverse and talented group of people – bound together by a deep and abiding commitment to the party and to building a non-racial, inclusive and prosperous South Africa for all who live in it, no matter the circumstances of their birth’.

He paid tribute to senior party figure James Selfe as ‘one of the unsung heroes of South Africa’s democratic dispensation’ and to leader Mmusi Maimane, of whom he said, ‘I have always been struck by his unwavering commitment and belief in building one South Africa for all’.

Boughey said of Maimane: ‘I have seen first-hand the warmth and affection South Africans from across all walks of life have for him. He too has taught me much; humility, patience and an unwavering belief that ultimately the better angels of people’s nature will prevail, something which I am sure has been severely tested in recent times.’

If you like what you have just read, become a Friend of the IRR if you aren’t already one by SMSing your name to 32823 or clicking here. Each SMS costs R1.’ Terms & Conditions Apply.