News / 14 June 2017, 00:09am / Tebogo Monama and Getrude Makhafola
The EFF slammed Western Cape Premier Helen Zille as an untransformed racist yesterday after she publicly apologised for her tweets about colonialism.
EFF national spokesperson Mbuyiseni Ndlozi said the party is not in any alliance or coalition with the DA.
“We have no relationship with them, none whatsoever. We do not owe them anything.”
This comes after EFF leader Julius Malema uncharacteristically went to ground after the DA's decision to keep Zille as Western Cape premier. Zille’s defiant behaviour on defending her colonialism tweet had damaged the opposition party and threatened both its growth, prospects at the 2019 elections and coalition governments in Gauteng metros.
Yesterday, the DA top brass announced a compromise deal between Zille and party leader Mmusi Maimane, which saw the disciplinary charges against her dropped.
The issue of removing Zille as premier has divided the party, with the Western Cape expected to be have been a launch pad of a palace revolt against Maimane had she been booted out.
Zille also confirmed yesterday that she had been approached to form a new political formation if she were going to be fired.
Instead of tweeting controversial remarks about colonialism, Zille said she would instead tweet about her grandchild.
“I will be tweeting about my granddaughter and all other things vanilla and chocolate,” she said on the sidelines of the media briefing held with Maimane.
She said although she would not be involved in party decision-making any longer, she would be on the ground campaigning for the DA.
“I will be working in by-elections and wearing my (DA) T-shirt. I also think it was a good idea for me to be removed because it is very hard for leadership to always be sitting chirping about things it is hard.”
Zille would not say who contacted her with the suggestion to form her own political party.
The deal has emboldened her supporters in the Western Cape and put the the EFF in a tight corner.
Last week Malema threatened to pull support from the DA in the City of Johannesburg and Tshwane if the party did not oust Zille.
He said the DA was acting like the ANC in that it defended an individual over the country.
But when contacted yesterday Malema referred questions to Ndlozi.
Ndlozi did not repeat the threats by Malema to dump the DA in the upcountry metros.
He said Zille was exposed as an untransformed racist who had to shove her pride like a tail between her legs.
“However, the reality is that she represents the views and sentiments of many white people in our country.
"Anti-black racism is precisely exacerbated in the psyche of liberal whites who think they possess Struggle credentials.
“They suffer because they do not know that what often drove them to fight colonisation and apartheid was precisely the patronising messianism, which is rooted in the very racist idea that black people cannot liberate themselves without white contribution.”
DA Western Cape leader Bonginkosi Madikizela, a close Zille ally, said, “I want to applaud the leader for minimising damage and encouraging unity within the party.”
Madikizela said people who were unhappy with their decision to keep Zille as the Western Cape government leader were not their voters.
“We can't be dictated (to) by our opponents. We have to respect our internal processes and can't allow other parties we are in coalition with to put a gun on our heads.”
Zille had also argued in her submission that her removal would undermine the unity of the party.
She claimed that she was being punished because she is not black, raising a spectre of a racial battle in her party should she have been fired.
Flanked by Maimane, Zille apologised unreservedly for her March tweet, which read “for those claiming legacy of colonialism was ONLY negative, think of our independent judiciary, transport infrastructure, piped water, etc.”
She was removed from her positions in the federal executive, federal council and provincial council, but would remain in the party's caucus in the Western Cape Legislature.
Zille said she was sorry for her remarks and for undermining Maimane. “In a sensitively race-divided society it is just true that who you are determines how what you say is taken. For example, if a Jew makes an anti-Semitic remark everybody laughs, but it doesn't work the other way round.”