Democratic Alliance (DA) leader Mmusi Maimane made an announcement at the Independent Electoral Commission’s (IEC) national results operation centre in Pretoria that the DA projects it will be the largest party in the city of Tshwane.

“We spent most of the day today looking at many of our projections and I’m quite glad to announce today that here in the city of Tshwane, by all our current projections, certainly we will be the largest party,” Maimane said.

Maimane  thanked party members and supporters before congratulating Solly Msimanga, the DA’s mayoral candidate for Tshwane.

“The people of Tshwane have expressed a view. For us, it’s very positive that the project of democracy is fully at work,” Maimane said.

“The total tally is not yet done, so I’m waiting for final figures, but our projections have been consistently right and we feel now the work that we’ve got to do going forward is to make sure that we can do our best to govern for the people of Tshwane,” he added.

The DA leader said making an early call on what could transpire in Tshwane would not undermine the IEC. 

Speaking at a press conference immediately after Maimane made his announcement, IEC chairperson Glen Mashinini said the DA was within their right to make projections.

Mashinini also said that the outcome of the elections is “known in all but 38 of 257 councils being contested”. 

The IEC is continuing to work towards finalising the results of a number of district councils as well as some of the largest metros including the city of Johannesburg, Tshwane, Ekurhuleni, eThekwini, Buffalo City and the city of Cape Town.

The commission has received 49 objections with regards to local government election processes, but said it is certain that all objections will be addressed by the time the official announcement ceremony takes place on Saturday evening.

Maimane made the DA’s projections known early, but Mashinini said that final results for Tshwane are expected to be released on Friday night.