File photo: Helen Zille holds up a Grade 12 history textbook during a debate in the Western Cape legislature as the ANC called for her to resign for tweeting two weeks ago that the legacy of colonialism was not only negative. Picture: Henk Kruger

Cape Town – Western Cape premier Helen Zille will face disciplinary charges for her social media remarks on colonialism, Democratic Alliance leader Mmusi Maimane announced on Sunday.

“The federal executive met today [Sunday] and made a decision to institute formal disciplinary steps against Ms Helen Zille,” Maimane told reporters in Cape Town. “This has not been easy to take,” he said.

Zille would faces charges of violating the party’s federal constitution by acting in a manner that brought the party into disrepute. She would remain in her post as premier while the disciplinary process unfolded.

Maimane said the charge was not limited to the series of tweets posted by Zille last month in which she suggested that the legacy of colonialism was “not all bad”.

He recalled that he had personally laid the complaint that prompted an investigation that lead to the decision to charge her. “I must protect the project and cannot tolerate any action by any person that seeks to undermine it,” Maimane said.