File photo: Raahil Sain/African News Agency (ANA).

Former DA federal chairman Athol Trollip says Helen Zille is not suitable to be the party’s federal chair, a powerful position she assumed on Sunday. 

Trollip said although Zille was perfectly entitled to run for the position which he contested for as well, some of her views did not sit well with him, hence he believes she is not suitable for it.  

“I’ve said before that there is a time to come and a time to go and she has had both. She has also been saying and doing bizarre things that don’t represent what I believe the mission of the DA is,” Trollip responded when he was why he thinks Zille is not good to lead the party.

Speaking on SAFM on Thursday morning, Trollip said bringing back Zille would be a “death knell.” for the party engulfed by internal divisions. 

He also told the interviewer that it would not be a good idea for Zille to act in the position until a new national leader is elected to replace Mmusi Maimane who resigned on Wednesday.

Speaking to Independent Media on Thursday, Trollip said his “personal opinions” about Zille was that she as “domineering” figure.

“However as I said I have reservations about her, she is very domineering and I don’t think that she is suited to the job she is now doing. My personal opinions about her are neither here nor there though,” he said. 

After his resignation, Trollip said he was still an ordinary councillor in the Nelson Mandela Bay where he was once a mayor and that’s the way it was going to be for the foreseeable future. 

The relationship of the two has not been rosy for years. Their major political headbutting started in 2007 when they fought to succeed Tony Leon, the party's former leader. The position was won by Zille and Trollip said he harbours no grudges despite her sharp public rebuke of Zille on many occasions. 

“I’ve lost to her and her nominees before and also won against one of her nominees. This did not stop me working with her for the past 12 years.”

Political Bureau