The DA’s compromise deal on Helen Zille’s colonialism tweets has cast a spotlight on the case involving its former youth leader, Mbali Ntuli. Picture: Tiro Ramatlhatse/ANA Pictures
Johannesburg - The DA’s compromise deal on Helen Zille’s colonialism tweets has cast a spotlight on the case involving its former youth leader, Mbali Ntuli.

Ntuli was charged earlier this year for liking a Facebook post that labelled Zille a racist.

This week the party moved swiftly to extinguish the fires caused by Zille’s defence of the tweets, which had damaged the organisation and threatened its chances in the 2019 elections.

Zille was removed from the party’s decision-making bodies but was retained as Western Cape premier, to the dismay of the EFF.

DA leader Mmusi Maimane has previously said he would like to see Ntuli’s matter being mediated to avoid the divisions it was causing in the party.

This was after the party’s federal executive charged Ntuli despite its independent disciplinary body having found there was no case against her.

On Wednesday the complainant, acting Western Cape leader Bonginkosi Madikizela, said he was willing to drop the charges if Ntuli apologised for the sake of the unity of the party.

“The case was not a personal thing. It is just that if people want to raise issues, they must not do so in public but within the party. The intention was never to punish her.”

Madikizela, who is seen as a Zille supporter, said Ntuli was an integral part of the party.

Ntuli’s case also lifted the lid on the fissures between Zille’s and Maimane’s supporters, who believe Ntuli has become the subject of a witch-hunt.

She was slapped with five charges, including bringing the DA into disrepute, acting in a manner that harmed its image and opposing party policies.

Ntuli was charged despite the federal legal council (FLC) saying there was no case to answer.

She remained adamant on Wednesday that she had nothing to apologise for and would not do so to get a similar deal as the Western Cape premier.

In a report dated April 11, FLC member Alan McLoughlin said there was insufficient evidence against Ntuli to secure a conviction on misconduct and no further action should be taken against her. He warned that if the party pursued the case against her it would damage the organisation.

Ntuli stood her ground: “What will I apologise for? I am looking forward to presenting my case at the hearing.” Her case has been indefinitely postponed.

Asked whether the FLC would consider dropping charges against Ntuli if she apologised, MP Glynnis Breytenbach said: “It is not my prerogative, it is up to the fedex (federal executive).”

She confirmed there was no date set yet for Ntuli’s hearing.

Maimane’s spokesperson, Graham Charters, said the leader was not involved in the case, so he could not comment on it.

“That is a decision to be made by the FLC and not the leader.”

The Star