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Update: Mmusi Maimane has since resigned from the DA entirely. Read the full story here.
Mmusi Maimane on Wednesday announced his resignation as leader of the DA, sparking fierce debate on Twitter, and commentary from other political entities.
Did we say commentary? We meant straight banter by some.
Here’s a sample of what the DA’s political rivals have said in statements and on social media since the news broke.
‘Hate to say I told you so’
Good leader Patricia de Lille, who left the DA in October 2018 to form her own political party, believed Maimane’s departure is another step in the party’s “path of destruction”.
“I am not claiming to be a sangoma but I warned Mmusi Maimane that if he didn’t stand on principle his party’s laptop boys would swallow him up and spit him out,” she penned in a colourful statement on Wednesday.
— Good (@ForGoodZA) October 23, 2019
UDM leader Bantu Holomisa gave citizens a more analytical take, and called into question the party’s internal politics.
“The project to transform the DA could now come to a grinding halt,” he stated in a tweet on Wednesday.
The DA’s reliance on Tony Leon’s report deprives its branches of having a say on #MmusiMaimane. So much for intra-party democracy. It seems as if the DA is showing its true colours; the project to transform the DA could now come to a grinding halt. https://t.co/RHkw5bnDX4
— Bantu Holomisa (@BantuHolomisa) October 23, 2019
Meanwhile, the BLF believed that Mmusi Maimane was “fired” in arguably the hottest take of all.
#MmusiMaimane is not resigning. Mmusi was fired! Lets get that right…-BLF President, Andile Mngxitama
— Black First Land First (BLF) (@BLF_SouthAfrica) October 23, 2019
Others drew on classical literature.
The IFP’s national spokesperson Mkhuleko Hlengwa quoted the first lines of Dicken’s A Tale of Two Cities.
“Try and fail, but never fail to try,” he concluded.
It was the best of times, it was the worst of times, it was the age of wisdom, it was the age of foolishness, it was the epoch of belief, it was the epoch of incredulity, it was the season of light, it was the season of darkness…
Try & fail, but never fail to try#MmusiMaimane
— Mkhuleko Hlengwa MP🇿🇦 (@MkhulekoHlengwa) October 23, 2019
DA MP Phumzile van Damme thanked Maimane for “every single one of your efforts to build #OneSAForAll”.
“Many have gone unnoticed, but many of us remember and shall never forget,” she added.
Thank you for every single one your efforts to build #OneSAForAll @MmusiMaimane. Many have gone unnoticed, but many of us remember & shall never forget. Looking forward to continuing to work with you in Parliament and on this vision. pic.twitter.com/jcIuWyNWlo
— Phumzile Van Damme (@zilevandamme) October 23, 2019
DA chief whip John Steenhuisen joined van Damme in thanking Maimane, but also Athol Trollip, who also announced his resignation from the party’s federal chair position on Wednesday.
“As Ted Kennedy said “the work goes on, the cause endures, the hope still lives, and the dream shall never die,” he tweeted.
An honor to work with Mmusi and Athol over many years. Thank you for your leadership, commitment and dedication to the cause. We must work to continue the project. As Ted Kennedy said “the work goes on, the cause endures, the hope still lives, and the dream shall never die.
— John Steenhuisen MP (@jsteenhuisen) October 23, 2019
Natasha Mazzone, the shadow minister of public enterprises, called Trollip and Maimane “two great South Africans who have contributed so much to the democracy in SA”.
It has been an honour and privilege to work with @AtholT and @MmusiMaimane for many years. Two great South Africans who have contributed so much to democracy in SA. Thank you for your dedication and unwavering patriotism. One SA for ALL 🇿🇦
— Natasha Mazzone MP (@Natasha9Mazzone) October 23, 2019
What about the ANC and EFF?
The DA’s two political rivals were rather mum on the issues of the day.
On Wednesday afternoon, the EFF seemed too busy conducting a #MinisterQandA.
However, by Wednesday evening, the party’s secretary general Godrich Gardee drilled home one of Maimane’s statements during his press conference.
— Godrich Gardee (@GardeeGodrich) October 23, 2019
The ANC also offered no official commentary, spending its Wednesday tweeting about the “50th anniversary of the African National Congress Morogoro Consultative Conference”.
But Fikile Mbalula, SA’s minister of transport, left South Africans with this.
No caption needed, we guess.
— Minister of Transport |Mr Fix (@MbalulaFikile) October 23, 2019
Feature image: Andy Walker/Memeburn