South Africa's main opposition group has chosen its first black leader at a party congress, seeking to expand its appeal in a country whose ruling party has dominated since the first all-race elections in 1994.

Mmusi Maimane was elected Sunday by delegates of the Democratic Alliance party who convened in the city of Port Elizabeth. He replaced Hellen Zille, a white who is the premier of Western Cape province, the only one of nine South African provinces that is controlled by the opposition.

Maimane had been head of his party's caucus in parliament, where he sharply criticized President Jacob Zuma over a spending scandal at his private home.

Despite the scandal, Zuma led the ruling party, the African National Congress, to another victory in elections last year.