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    South African: Opposition Leader Helen Zille Steps Down

    african forum Total Reaction Points: 1
    edited April 2015 in African News Headlines
    HANNESBURG (AP) — The leader of South Africa's largest opposition party announced her decision to step down just four weeks ahead of the party's elective meeting.
    Helen Zille, leader of the Democratic Alliance, announced on Sunday that she would not stand for re-election in the party's upcoming meeting in May. The party, which won 22 percent of the national vote in the 2014 election, needs fresh leadership to grow, said Zille, explaining her decision to step down two years earlier than planned.
    "The party would benefit from fresh blood to remain exciting and relevant, and grow its support base to build the non-racial center of South African politics," Zille said in a press conference. Under her eight-year leadership, young black leaders have risen to prominence as the liberal party, which has a mainly white following, seeks to attract voters from South Africa's black majority.
    The leadership battle to select her successor by next month will be "short and sharp," said Zille.
    The party's fiery parliamentary leader, Mmusi Maimane, is seen as the leading contender to replace 64-year-old Zille.
    Lindiwe Mazibuko, Maimane's predecessor in parliament, quickly quashed speculation that she would try to succeed Zille. The 35-year-old said she would not run for the party's top seat, in a statement on Monday. Mazibuko is currently studying at Harvard University in the United States.
    With Zille at the helm, the Democratic Alliance increased its percentage of the national vote by 10 percent, according to a party statement.
    An avid tweeter, Zille has used social media to air sometimes controversial views. She's also known for regularly dancing on stage during campaign rallies.
    Before becoming one of South Africa's most prominent political figures, Zille worked as a journalist and is known for reporting on the police killing of prominent anti-apartheid activist, Steve Biko.
    Zille was mayor of Cape Town from 2006 to 2009. She will remain premier of South Africa's Western Cape province. Zille, who joined the party in the mid-1990s, said she would continue to work for the Democratic Alliance.

    READ IT HERE:
    http://www.heraldstandard.com/headlines_ap/south-african-opposition-leader-steps-down/article_1fee1d0c-7afe-52da-87f8-0d14144a88f5.html

    http://portraitofanation.co.za/wp-content/uploads/2010/08/helen-zille.jpg

    http://www.onsetimages.com/main_images/friends_events/Tourism/CityOfCapeTown/HBHangberg/7A31/800x600/8_7A31a1_HelenZille.jpg
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