The Democratic Alliance (DA) has revealed the four candidates who will battle it out for the position of Federal Council chairperson.
In a statement on Friday evening, the party said the candidates are Helen Zille, Thomas Walters, Mike Waters and Athol Trollip.
It made the announcement soon after the 17h00 nominations deadline lapsed.
The party added, “We trust that this will be a constructive period of campaigning and contestation of ideas between the candidates.” The election will take place later this month.
Zille first off the blocks
Zille was the first to make her candidature public via social media. She said she took the decision “after careful consideration” and after being approached by “various senior leaders throughout the week.”
She subsequently suspended her fellowship with the Institute of Race Relations (IRR) following her decision to contest, IRR said in a statement on Friday.
The former Western Cape Premier was DA leader until 2015 when current leader Mmusi Maimane succeeded her.
The other candidates
Thomas Walters currently serves as one of the two Deputy Chairpersons of the Federal Council along with Natasha Mazzone.
He is serving his second term after first being elected in 2012 and re-elected in 2015. He’s also an MP and DA’s shadow minister for Rural Development and Land Reform.
Mike Waters is one of the party’s three Deputy Federal Chairpersons and first joined Parliament in 1999.
Athol Trollip is currently DA’s Federal Chairperson, a position he assumed in 2015. He joined Parliament in 2009 and became leader of official opposition until 2012.
Federal Council chairperson vs Federal Chairperson: A brief explainer
The Federal Council is the DA’s highest policy making and governing body between congresses.
The Federal Executive implements the decisions of the Federal Council. It may also exercise the powers and functions of the Council when the latter is not in session.
Therefore, the Federal Council chairperson is different from the Federal Chairperson, who chairs the Federal Executive.