Helen Zille has suspended her position as Senior Policy Fellow at the IRR, following her decision to submit nomination forms to contest the position of chair of the Federal Council of the Democratic Alliance. File picture: ANA/Armand Hough

Cape Town - Helen Zille has suspended her position as Senior Policy Fellow at the Institute of Race Relations (IRR), following her decision to submit nomination forms to contest the position of chair of the Federal Council of the Democratic Alliance.

The IRR released a statement on Friday saying that Zille had voluntarily suspended her position as a senior policy fellow "in accordance with the IRR's employment rules".

"I wish you well at this critical juncture in the evolution of our country," said IRR CEO Dr Frans Cronje on behalf of the company.

Helen Zille also announced the news on Facebook, saying she submitted the forms earlier on Friday. 

"In recent months, the DA has been through a period of turmoil and distress. As a party, it is important for us to reflect, to introspect and to begin the process of reconnecting with voters, said Zille. 

Zille maintains she loves the DA as well as the values it represents.

She joined the IRR in July as a senior policy fellow, writer and analyst.

The position of chair of the Federal Council of the DA became vacant after James Selfe's decision to resign in June this year.

IOL