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DA to decide on WC Premier Helen Zille's fate

Helen Zille is facing a disciplinary process after DA leader Mmusi Maimane lodged a complaint against her over a series of tweets in which she argued not every aspect of colonial legacy was bad.

FILE: Western Cape Premier Helen Zille. Picture: Aletta Gardner/EWN

CAPE TOWN – The Democratic Alliance (DA)’s federal executive will on Wednesday decide whether or not to suspend the party’s former leader Helen Zille.

Zille is facing a disciplinary process after DA leader Mmusi Maimane lodged a complaint against her over a series of tweets in which she argued not every aspect of colonial legacy was bad.

She had until Tuesday to motivate why she should not be suspended from the party.

Federal executive chairperson James Selfe has confirmed to Eyewitness News that Zille has made a nine-page submission.

The federal executive will meet today to deliberate whether or not to suspend her from DA activities.

The former DA leader’s disciplinary hearing is set to start on Friday.

Zille has already indicated she will face the hearing but added she would not be bullied into resigning.

Over the weekend, DA leader Mmusi Maimane announced Zille's suspension, but hours later the party clarified she had only been served with a letter of intention to suspend.

At the same time, political Analyst Dennis Silke has described the DA’s handling of the matter as clumsy.

“It’s been a disappointing show in my view, certainly from the leadership of the party. But at the same time I think former leaders have to understand that when their time is up, so to speak, it is best that they do not continue in office and therefore, hold out the potential of conflicting with the existing leadership.”

Silke said Zille should have retired when she vacated her position as the DA leader.

“And it probably proves the point once again that when you have been a former leader of a political party, its best to vacate office or retire rather than be later seen to be in conflict with your successor or a new generation of young leadership that takes over. And I think largely that is what we have seen happen emerging within the DA.”

Maimane said while he was offended by the tweets he reiterated he doesn't believe Zille is racist.

He, however, has stated that he and Zille have disagreed on the direction the party needs to take in the run up to the 2019 general elections.

A number of opposition parties have since called for the removal of Zille from her provincial position.

TONY LEON PRAISES MAIMANE

Former DA leader Tony Leon has praised Maimane for taking tough action against Zille over her colonialism tweets.

The party then issued a statement confirming Zille has been given until Tuesday to give her reasons.

Leon, who has called on Zille to step down, said as tough as it was, Maimane had to take action.

“And I think he had to take some form of legal action rather than waiting for an endless legal process to unfold. And I think he did well. Whether he did correctly legally or not is another matter. But I think he needed to take action to send a signal that this matter couldn’t continue at the moment.”

(Edited by Leeto M Khoza)

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