June 23, 2017

Zille suspended from DA

19 June 2017, 03:03 | Opal Carroll

South Africa opposition party suspends Helen Zille over colonialism tweets

Democratic Alliance leader Helen Zille arrives for President Jacob Zuma's Sate of the Nation address at the opening session pf Parliament in Cape Town

In her response to the suspension, Zille claims that the suspension is against the provisions of Section 3.6.3 of the party constitution which gives her time to make representations on the matter before any action can be taken against her.

In a statement on her Twitter account, she said there was a contradiction in the letter she received from the party's federal executive chair James Selfe, and Maimane's announcement.

She said she had offered the DA the option of mediation, which would have allowed then party an opportunity to discuss the matter instead of exacerbating it.

"Secondly, the crucial decision lies in whether the DA accepts Zille's explanation about why she should not be suspended".

"The final decision of the DA Federal Executive regarding whether to suspend Helen Zille will be made once any such representations have been made and considered".

Ms Zille also disputed Mr Maimane's comment that she had declined to apologise, saying she had done so publicly.

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But while there is mounting concern in the party that the DA has been unable to capitalise on the crisis in the ANC because of its own problems, the DA in the Western Cape remains firmly behind the Zille.

Ms Zille's comments damaged the party and undermined reconciliation efforts in South Africa, said Mmusi Maimane, a black politician who replaced Ms Zille as party leader. Zille tweeted that the DA had now changed its suspension statement.

South Africa's main opposition party, the Democratic Alliance, on June 3, 2017 suspended former leader Helen Zille over Twitter messages in which she said colonialism had brought benefits to the country.

"Our federal executive has resolved that Zille be suspended from all party-related activities until such time that a disciplinary hearing is concluded", said Maimane, the party's first black leader. Despite the investigation against her, she has continued to say colonialism was not only bad. "What I have not agreed to do is to plead guilty to charges of misconduct which I have never committed".

"I apologised unreservedly for a tweet that may have come across as a defence for colonialism, which it was not", she says.

Selfe confirmed they were considering an application by a media house to open the hearing.

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