THE Democratic Alliance (DA) has suspended former leader and Western Cape premier Helen Zille for her colonialism tweets.
She had said colonialism had laid the foundation for the judiciary and that the country had colonialism to thank for its word class infrastructure.
The party announced on Saturday that the Federal Executive has considered the matter which is before its Federal Legal Commission.
Leader Mmusi Maimane said in order to ensure that the DA focuses on building one nation with one future, he and other leaders have been working to resolve the matter using all available means.
“It has become quite evident that Helen Zille and I hold fundamentally different attitudes about the mission the Democratic Alliance needs to accomplish in 2019, and the goals and priorities that flow from this. Ms Zille’s social media commentary and public utterances in connection with colonialism undermine our reconciliation project. There is no question that Ms Zille’s original tweets and subsequent justifications have damaged our standing in the public mind,” said Maimane.
He added that South Africans live in a fragile democracy which means our public representatives must, at all times, be sensitive to the legitimate anger that people still feel about their past and its legacy.
Maimane said Zille refused to apologise for her tweets and that prompted her suspension.
“As the Leader of the party, it is up to me to rebuild public trust. In this regard, I asked Ms Zille to tender an unreserved apology to both South Africa and the DA for the damage she has done. Unfortunately, she declined. In this period, Ms Zille has continued to damage the party with various pieces of communication that seek to undermine what we are trying to achieve,” said Maimane.
Accordingly, Federal Executive has resolved Ms Zille be suspended from all party related activities until such time as her disciplinary hearing is concluded. A notice of suspension will be served on Ms Zille in this regard.” He said it was not an easy decision to take but it was a necessary one.
The DA charged Zille with bringing the party into disrepute three months ago, in a which which divided the party, but her disciplinary hearing has yet to take place.
It is understood that Zille supporters in the party are unhappy with Maimane’s decision to sanction her.