Zille's suspension by the DA federal executive (FedEx) "is a sham", Sanco national spokesperson Jabu Mahlangu said on Saturday.
"We are unimpressed with Zille’s suspension because DA disciplinary processes are cover-ups. As they have done with the Diana Kohler-Barnard, Chris Roberts and Ramsay cases, the federal executive council is simply going to deliver a verdict that will massage her racist ego and reassure the right-wing inner circle that the party is still their comfort zone,” he said.
Earlier on Saturday, DA leader Mmusi Maimane announced Zille had been suspended from all DA-related activities pending the outcome of a disciplinary hearing.
Briefing the media following the DA’s two-day FedEx meeting in Johannesburg, Maimane said the meeting had considered the matter concerning Zille that was currently before the DA’s federal legal commission (FLC).
The DA’s leadership has charged Zille with violating the DA constitution. The FLC has found that Zille, a former DA leader, has a case to answer over her tweets earlier this year in which she said colonialism had had some benefits for the country.
At the press conference on Saturday, Maimane said that to ensure the DA focused on building one nation with one future, he had been working to resolve this matter using all available means.
“It has become quite evident that Helen Zille and I hold fundamentally different attitudes about the mission the Democratic Alliance needs to accomplish in 2019, and the goals and priorities that flow from this.
“Ms Zille’s social media commentary and public utterances in connection with colonialism undermine our reconciliation project. There is no question that Ms Zille’s original tweets and subsequent justifications have damaged our standing in the public mind.
“We live in a fragile democracy which means our public representatives must, at all times, be sensitive to the legitimate anger that people still feel about our past and its legacy,” he said.
As DA leader, it was up to him to rebuild public trust. In this regard, he had asked Zille to tender an unreserved apology to both South Africa and the DA for the damage she had done.
“Unfortunately, she declined. In this period, Ms Zille has continued to damage the party with various pieces of communication that seek to undermine what we are trying to achieve. Accordingly, [the] federal executive has resolved Ms Zille be suspended from all party-related activities until such time as her disciplinary hearing is concluded.
"A notice of suspension will be served on Ms Zille in this regard. This has not been an easy decision. But, as the leader, I must do what is right for the party and South Africa," Maimane said.