Democratic Alliance (DA) leader Mmusi Maimane announced his resignation as party leader today.

Maimane said he would remain parliamentary leader of the party until the end of the year.

At the same press conference, former executive mayor of the Nelson Mandela Bay Metro Municipality and DA federal chairperson Athol Trollip also announced his resignation. He urged voters not to ‘turn their backs on the only party that can save South Africa’.

Mmusi Maimane became leader of the party on 10 May 2015.

Under his watch the DA lost support. Having grown steadily from its 1.7% share of the vote in 1994 to a high of 22.3% in 2014, the party fell back for the first time in its history to 20.7% in this year’s May election.

In recent years, the party has been racked with conflict and infighting, and weakened by policy contradictions.

IRR CEO Dr Frans Cronje said that Maimane’s career ‘might later be read as one of South Africa’s great political tragedies’.

He added: ‘He was a person deeply committed to the success of our country but was time and again misled and poorly advised by his party colleagues, and ultimately paid the price. Had he been better advised, I think he might have been very successful.’

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