Last updated on Apr 13th, 2018 at 01:51 pm

“It’s a simple task that I’ve been given, and one which gives me a chance to publicly honour the man who, above all else, is my best friend…”

This was the opening line of a speech given by Natalie Maimane, the wife of DA leader, Mmusi Maimane at this weekend’s elective conference. Maimane remained the uncontested leader of the DA, and inspired delegates with a moving speech.

However, it was his wife’s speech which gave supporters a little more insight into the leader’s character. Natalie gushed over her partner – calling him her best friend, and highlighting the vision that he had had for South Africa since he was a young youth leader.

The couple met at church when Natalie was 15 and Mmusi was a 19-year-old youth pastor. This year in August, they will celebrate 13 successful years of marriage.

“And what an amazing journey it’s been,” Natalie told delegates.

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READ MORE: Natalie & Mmusi Maimane – faith, family & politics

She recalled the moment she realised that Mmusi’s calling was for the people of South Africa. “He was a pastor, speaking at an event for young people, that I watched Mmusi receive his own call to purpose. That night was a picture of our lives moving forward. A night held in a church hall, a place of worship where Mmusi was serving the young people of SA with his own ability when he came to realise that serving the people of SA was what he was made to do.”

Natalie says that it is their faith that holds the couple together, and is also the cornerstone of their commitment to the nation.

Mmusi as a father

While studying towards a Master’s in public administration, the couple started a family. “If anything reinforces vision for a nation, it’s the reality of one’s own children growing up in it,” said Natali.

“Seeing Mmusi as a father has been one of the great delights of my heart. As a dad, he is present, connected, loving, and he inspires our children to dream. In this world of politics which does not sleep, I would encourage you to discipline yourself to be present when in the company of those who love you. They are your first constituents. Remember to serve them first, for they will be your strength for the significant work you each need to do to keep taking our nation forward.”

Vision for South Africa

“The vision our family sacrifices for, and that we as a couple wish to see as a reality is a vision that Mmusi Maimane has carried in his heart from even before I met him as a 19-year-old youth pastor.”

“It is the vision of a South Africa that protects the faith of ALL of its people, provides a platform for the dreams of ALL of its children, with an economy that is accessible to all of its people. And underpinning all this, a government whose highest value is to serve its citizens.  It is with confidence and absolute unwavering support that I can affirm, we are led.”

Watch the speech below: