Western Cape Premier Helen Zille has been officially suspended from all party related activities by the DA’s Federal Executive (FedEx) over her colonialism tweets.
The party announced its decision on Wednesday evening, saying the suspension was effective immediately.
However, Zille will remain the Western Cape Premier as that was separate procedural process.
The party’s FedEx members all agreed that Zille’s tweets, which seemed to condone colonialism not only broke down public trust in the party, but also hampered and undermined the party’s political objectives.
Zille’s final suspension follows a disastrous weekend where the party went back and forth on whether she was suspended after DA leader Mmusi Maimane made the announcement on Saturday.
Maimane’s announcement was quickly retracted and the party instead said she had been given 72 hours to make representations why she should not be fired.
Zille then threw the FedEx’s own rulebook out and threatened to consult her lawyers as she was allowed to argue her case.
The party said because the country’s democracy was still fragile, public representatives like Zille should be sensitive to the legitimate anger that people have about the past.
“As a former leader and as a member of the FedEx, Zille has a special duty of care to protect the party’s interests and promote the party’s mission, which is to build a non-racial, inclusive democracy. Zille’s statements are at variance with this,” the DA said.
It said Maimaine had done all he could to resolve the matter and has asked Zille to apologise, but she has refused to do so.
Zille’s has continued to speak publicly on matter and the party says this has continued to cause damage to its reputation.
“It must be made clear that Zille continues in her government role as Premier of the Western Cape. There is a separation between party and state, and this suspension does not affect her government role. This matter deals with her standing within the DA,” said the DA.
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