Semakaleng Patricia Kopane, the Democratic Alliance (DA) Free State provincial leader, posted on social media on Saturday night that she will not be seeking to renew her term.
Kapok confirmed this to The Citizen on Sunday morning.
She has served as the province’s leader since 2012, and is also the party’s shadow minister of public works.
It has been an honor and privilege to have been the DA Free State leader for the past 8yrs,to all my supporters , the DA…
“It has been an honour and privilege to have been the DA Free State leader for the past 8years,” her post read, adding that “after 8yrs of being the leader, I believe there is a need for the new vision and fresh ideas for new leadership (sic).”
She then confirmed in the post that she will not make herself available for the new term.
“My support for my party will remain steadfast,” she concluded in the post.
“There’s a time to come in and a time to leave,” Kopane told The Citizen, adding that being a leader is like being in a relay race.
“I must give the baton over to someone who can run faster than me.”
“You don’t need to have a title to be a leader,” she explained. “I’m a born leader, and I’ll still support anyone who is a leader in the Free State and nationally for the party.”
Kopane confirmed that she will remain a member of the national assembly, as well as the shadow minister of public works. She said she will also support councillors, activists and people on the ground.
“I must just learn to work in one small space,” she joked.
“I’ve done my part, and I’m grateful for the podium given to me. It was really an honour that the DA invested in me.”
Kopane joined the DA in 2003, and became a councillor for Mangaung in 2006. In 2009, she became a member of Parliament, and was the party’s spokesperson for social development.
Before joining the party, she worked as a professional nurse, and for the Cancer Association of South Africa.