Factions in DA gear up for Zille battle

2017-06-04 06:01
DA leader Mmusi Maimane. (Deon Raath, Netwerk24)

DA leader Mmusi Maimane. (Deon Raath, Netwerk24)

Multimedia   ·   User Galleries   ·   News in Pictures Send us your pictures  ·  Send us your stories

Helen Zillle’s suspension from the DA has thwarted rumoured ambitions of her running for office in the party as it prepares for its provincial and national congresses.

Insiders have told City Press that there was a “strong indication” that the former leader wanted to run for the position of Western Cape leader at the provincial congress come the end of this year, or even nationally next year.

“Helen is adamant that she is right and, should we not follow procedure, she will take this matter to court. We have done the best that we can within legal frameworks,” an insider said.

“The suspension is a warning shot to her that we are still in control and Mmusi [Maimane, DA leader] is tired of being seen as not taking action when it [was] the processes and Helen herself holding him back from doing what he wants to do, which is to fire her.

"There is no difference between what she is doing to the DA and what [President Jacob] Zuma is doing to [the ANC] at this stage.”

Maimane announced yesterday that Zille had been suspended from all party activities, but that she would remain in her position as premier of the Western Cape.

However, Zille was quick to hit back on Twitter, saying that her suspension did not “comply with the requirements of section 3.6.3 of the DA’s own federal constitution, which requires that I be given time to make representations on the matter”.

She added that chairperson of the executive, James Selfe – who was absent from the announcement of her suspension – had informed her that she had until June 6 to make those representations before her suspension became operative.

In a response to a text message from City Press, Selfe confirmed that Zille’s version of events was accurate and that she had been served with a notice of suspension.

Serious damage to the party

Shortly after, the DA released a statement saying that Zille had in fact been given 72 hours to make representations, but members of the federal executive told City Press that the notice was a mere technicality as the meeting had already resolved to suspend her.

Maimane had said in his statement that he and Zille had different ideas as to how the DA needed to make its mark in 2019 and beyond.

“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,” he said.

The opposition party leader also said that he had given Zille an opportunity to apologise unreservedly for her tweets and subsequent defence of them, but she had declined to do so.

It is understood that the move against Zille has deepened divisions in the party with factions gearing up for battle and rallying behind either Maimane or Zille.

Members of the party’s federal executive told City Press that removing Zille from government was not an option as the party’s constitution forbade them from doing so.

“We had a debate about whether she should be suspended as premier.

"In terms of the law, a sitting premier can only be removed either through a motion of no confidence or by a termination of contract by the political party.

“None of this can be done until her guilt has been established by the [disciplinary committee].

"We can’t instruct our members to table a motion of no confidence because we have not finalised the matter internally and we can’t terminate for the same reason,” a member of the executive said.

The same member said that Zille was on a rampage doing serious damage to the party.

“She can see she is damaging the party, she could have had a graceful exit, but she wants to fight. She wasn’t suspended initially because she hadn’t conducted herself in the way that she has since.

“Look at her Twitter timeline and all of the opinion pieces. She has stood her ground and is refusing any attempt at mediation. We were left with no option but to suspend.”

Last week City Press reported that the DA’s internal polling indicated that, since Zille’s tweets, the party had shown a downward trend in support.

“She started the 2019 project, but now, because she is not the one leading it – and maybe she thought she could control Mmusi and she now realises that she can’t – it is a problem.

“We are trying to look to 2019 to convince people that we are not a white party,” an insider said.

However, another provincial leader cautioned that the suspension would in fact give Zille ammunition when making her case.

“It is a mistake to suspend Helen.

“You may remember that when Selfe was asked why she had not been suspended, he said that you couldn’t suspend people if you [were certain] they wouldn’t interfere with witnesses.

“Now they are suspending her and she will have a great case for herself, because why is she being suspended if she has not interfered with anyone?”

Read more on:    da  |  mmusi maimane  |  james selfe

Join the conversation!

24.com encourages commentary submitted via MyNews24. Contributions of 200 words or more will be considered for publication.

We reserve editorial discretion to decide what will be published.
Read our comments policy for guidelines on contributions.
NEXT ON NEWS24X

Inside News24

 
Partner Content
How data is changing investments

Technological disruption is rife in many spheres of business and given the quantity of data available, it’s no surprise that the way in which asset managers work is also changing fast.

Behind the sparkle

Alluring, beautiful and timeless - diamonds are some of the most sought after gems in the world and are a true testament of everlasting brilliance. Let us take you behind the sparkle to show you the history behind this coveted jewel.

/News
 

How to get rid of fleas

Before you call in the pricey exterminators, try this DIY approach that promises to get your flea problem under control.

 
 

Paws

12 Cool cat facts
Chocolate can be fatal for dogs
Spider-man star's adorable relationship with his dog
Do you know what you are feeding your dog?
Traffic Alerts
There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.
 
English
Afrikaans
isiZulu

Hello 

Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.


Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.

Settings

Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.




Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.