Helen Zille officially suspended
“Other events of the past few months have led me and others to the conclusion that‚ in certain instances‚ DA members are treated differentially on the basis of race‚” she said.
“Mr Maimane has pursued every avenue to resolve this matter”.
DA Federal Executive Chairperson James Selfe, in a statement, said the decision to suspend Zille from party activities was taken by “an overwhelming majority” in the federal executive, which met on Wednesday morning.
Realising its mistake, the DA then issued a further statement saying it had only written to Zille “to signify its intention to temporarily suspend her”.
“… all involved the condition that I resign as Premier, or plead guilty to an offence through apologising for offences I did not commit, which would open the way for my expulsion from the party”, Zille said, adding later: “I have done nothing to breach my oath of office as Premier that warrants my resignation or removal from this office”. This put the Fedex in an “impossible position” to make an objective determination, whatever the merits of her arguments against suspension.
In a bid to flex his muscles and show that he was in charge of the party, Maimane convened a press conference at OR Tambo International Airport to announce that Zille’s party membership has been suspended.
Zille has apologised on two occasions for the remarks, which she claims were not defending colonialism, and were being misinterpreted.
“I can not be bullied into resigning or incriminating myself”. She is meant to receive a mandate from the party. “She is only suspended from partaking in party activities such as attending meetings”. “We’ve sent her to the provincial government to implement that and there’s a governance unit that she’ll work with”, he said.
Zille has a solid backing in certain circles of the DA, particularly in the Western Cape and Cape Town, but also nationally and has remained influential even after announcing just before the 2015 DA congress she was not up for re-election.
The feisty leader who is now the premier of the Western Cape province sparked a firestorm when she made the offending comment in March. The DA is demonstrating incapacity for administering justice and prioritising the people of South Africa. This as her supporters in the Western Cape reaffirmed their support for her.
The party went on to say that Zille had “refused to take the appropriate action necessary to resolve this unfortunate and damaging matter”.
Zille rubbished claims that the tweet saga had tarnished the party’s image‚ saying: “The ongoing damage to the party in this matter is of its own doing”.
Zille will continue in her government role as Premier of the Western Cape, as there is a separation between party and state, and this suspension does not affect her government role.
The Democratic Alliance, the main opposition party in South Africa, has officially suspended its former leader, Helen Zille accused of fanning racial tensions on social networks over her controversial tweet on the positive aspects of colonialism.
Nelson Mandela Metropolitan University political science lecturer and PhD candidate Ongama Mtimka said while Zille may be right about raising questions about the due process followed “that shows she cares more about her survival than she does about the party and its prospects going into 2019”.