Helen Zille officially suspended by DA

DA meeting: Tempers flare as Maimane pushes for Zille's exit

A DA disciplinary committee on the matter begins on Friday. This matter deals with her standing within the DA.

"Madam Zille's initial tweets and her subsequent justifications have undermined our reputation in the public and ... undermine our reconciliation project", said Mmusi Maimane, leader of the Democratic Alliance.

"We 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 our past and its legacy", says Selfe.

The party said the suspension was "decided by an overwhelming majority" and that sanction would remain until a disciplinary hearing was finalised. The basic bottom line is that despite growing voters' support, the largest opposition party must increase its support among black voters in 2019.

"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.

Earlier on Wednesday Zille was interviewed on PowerFM and repeated her defence of her controversial comments on colonialism.

Political analyst Ralph Mathekga said the DA was being inconsistent. "My original tweets, in a conversation about lessons from Singapore, were not in any way meant to harm the party, nor in any objective reading of them, could they be interpreted as doing so". All I have done is try to correct these mis-statements and distortions. "The leader has, in a public statement, made it clear that he wants me suspended and has already chose to suspend me".

Zille blows the lid on "several attempts over the last few weeks to force me to resign immediately, before a hearing takes place".

She has said that her tweets were taken out of context. "She is only suspended from partaking in party activities such as attending meetings".

On Saturday, Zille tweeted, "I have apologised".

Clearly, it's fight back mode. This put the Fedex in an "impossible position" to make an objective determination, whatever the merits of her arguments against suspension. The Western Cape can not afford two centres of power in the deeply divided DA.

This comes after the DA announced at the weekend that it had given her a notice of possible suspension following a series of tweets in March in which she discussed the advantages of colonialism.

It said she had 72 hours to submit reasons why she should not be suspended.

This week she cleared him of allegations of impropriety after contractors trading with the provincial government treated him to a lavish birthday party at a Cape Town hotel. Her colonialism tweets raised heckles to the extent the DA made a decision to act against her.

Maimane had been under pressure to act against Zille from within and outside the DA to show that he was in charge. Her ongoing communication on this issue has continued to cause damage to the party.

Zille had until Tuesday to explain to the party's federal executive (Fedex) why she should not be suspended.

Zille, 66, is credited with growing support for the DA among black people, whose votes helped it take control of key cities, including the capital Pretoria and Johannesburg, from the ruling African National Congress (ANC) after the local government elections past year.

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.

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