Mmusi Maimane crime

One South Africa leader and businessman Mmusi Maimane was robbed at gunpoint at a Cape Town bar on Wednesday 3 August. Image: Wikus de Wet / AFP (File photo)

Life after leadership: What Mmusi Maimane could do next

Mmusi Maimane is facing the end of his time as the DA’s leader. But, with this being politics, there is still plenty the 39-year-old can look forward to.

Mmusi Maimane crime

One South Africa leader and businessman Mmusi Maimane was robbed at gunpoint at a Cape Town bar on Wednesday 3 August. Image: Wikus de Wet / AFP (File photo)

It looks like Mmusi Maimane is on his way out of his leadership role within the DA, five years after he shot to prominence in the party. A Wednesday afternoon press conference has set the stage for his rumoured departure, as the internal politics of the opposition claim another casualty.

Maimane paid tribute to his “hero” Herman Mashaba on Monday, who quit in a blaze of fury. Just 48 hours later, the head-honcho of the party is ready to follow the same path. But what exactly does the future hold for Mmusi Maimane after his current job? We’ve got a few scenarios to ponder…

What next for Mmusi Maimane?

Does he remain in the DA?

Yes. Even though he is supposedly resigning as leader, he still remains an active part of the DA. There is no guarantee that he will remain on civil terms with the party, and there are rumours that three other MPs may resign in solidarity with him. Maimane still has the option to quit as a leader and an MP while remaining a member of the organisation.

Should that happen, things have the potential to get a bit nasty. But we’re expecting his transition to match that of Herman Mashaba’s – where the individual works out their notice period and then takes a break from the profession

Possible redeployments: Will Mmusi Maimane continue to serve the party?

With Maimane stepping aside as leader, it’s entirely possible that he will bide his time before making his next move. But once he is ready to return to politics, there are plenty of places he could be delegated. If Alan Winde gets promoted to the top-job – as some organisations have suggested – then the Premiership of the Western Cape would become available.

If you recall earlier in the year, Maimane briefly had his hat in the ring to succeed Helen Zille in that position. His foreseen departure may reignite his bid to preside over the DA’s safehold in the province, assuming that Winde vacates a position he has held for just five months.

There’s also a vacant mayoral role in Johannesburg we haven’t mentioned. But it’s probably come too early for MM.

Is there any way back to leadership for Mmusi Maimane?

This is politics in South Africa. There is always room for redeployment. It’s not just an ANC thing, either. Helen Zille has roared back to assume one of the most influential positions in the DA this week. A few shifts in the power dynamic of the party could strengthen the appetite for Mmusi’s return in a few years.

It may not be as the party’s out-and-out leader, but there is no reason he couldn’t follow Zille’s path to the Federal Chairperson slot. The DA are likely to have one eye on the 2021 Municipal Elections at this point, too. They will need that special blend of experience and relative youth to fight for cities like Port Elizabeth and Tshwane, which are rapidly slipping from their grass.

Once the dust has settled here, Maimane has the potential to come back fighting next year. This all relies on how amicably his departure from the leadership goes. But a familiar face might just be the difference between holding, losing or even winning control of our cities.

A life outside of politics

If the old political racket doesn’t suit him any more, Mmusi Maimane could always fall back on one of his previous jobs. After an extensive education – which includes two international university degrees – the DA’s departing frontman has a pretty varied CV:

  • He was once a lecturer at the Gordon Institute of Business Science.
  • Before becoming DA leader, he was a city councillor in Johannesburg.
  • Mmusi Maimane also cut his teeth as an independent business consultant.
  • Most famously, Mmusi’s a man of the cloth: He used to serve as a pastor at churches in Randburg, Gauteng.

Or, if you fancy a long-shot, we might even see him in the SuperSport studios giving us the low-down on Liverpool FC. Maimane makes no secret about his affinity with the Scousers, and he’s certainly got that Merseyside mentality when it comes to complaining about the officials…