Businessman Herman Mashaba is backing Mmusi Maimane to lead the Democratic Alliance following leader Helen Zille decision to relinquish the reins.
The party’s federal congress is due to be held in Port Elizabeth, Eastern Cape, next month.
“As a member of the Democratic Alliance, I endorse Mmusi Maimane’s bid for leadership of the DA. Leadership is about commitment to the party and the nation,” Mashaba said in a statement on Thursday.
“In all the years I have known Mmusi, he has demonstrated his keen allegiance to the country and its people. He has pledged himself to developing entrepreneurship and job creation, which are the key drivers of economic success.”
Maimane, who is the party’s parliamentary leader, is pitted against federal chairman Wilmot James. Included in the final candidates’ list is Adrian Naidoo, an ordinary party member from Gauteng, and Morgan Oliphant.
Mashaba said the country lacked strong leadership.
“Maimane’s bid for leadership comes at a time when leadership in South Africa is sorely lacking. I offer my full support to his bid, confident that his vision is aligned with the values enshrined in our Constitution, namely a non-racial, non-sexist, free society,” he said.
Maimane’s campaign is driven by MP Gavin Davis, a trusted Zille advisor, along with Geordin Hill-Lewis, and has the active support of DA chief whip John Steenhuisen.