Zille’s bombshell book names, shames and reveals dirty tricks inside DA

2016-10-09 19:15
The cover of Zille's book, Not Without A Fight. (Supplied)

The cover of Zille's book, Not Without A Fight. (Supplied)

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Cape Town - Former DA leader Helen Zille’s autobiography is a political bombshell that reveals dirty tricks in the official opposition and the disastrous campaign to recruit academic Mamphela Ramphele as the party’s presidential candidate.

Not Without a Fight hits book stores this week.

Some of the most compelling revelations in Zille’s tell-all book are:
- How Lindiwe Mazibuko, the party’s former parliamentary leader, isolated Zille after being elected and used a “military operation”, aided by “embedded journalists”, to launch her campaign for DA leadership and tarnish Mmusi Maimane;

- Their family house in Cape Town was a hide-out place for ANC activists like Mcebisi Skwatsha, Nyami Booi, Cameron Dugmore and Tony Yengeni during the apartheid years;

- She believed former DA leader Tony Leon was “captured” by remaining members of the New National Party in the DA after Marthinus van Schalkwyk and top NNP leaders deflected to the ANC in 2001;

- Apartheid’s last spy chief and later director-general of the Western Cape, Niel Barnard, had a bunker furnished with plastic garden chairs where he and his confidants discussed their strategies for control of the province, and

- Zille put together a secret group of advisers in the DA called “Some Day” who strategised to “save” the party from the NNP and Leon in 2005.

Zille dedicated a large part of the book to the unsuccessful attempts to bring Ramphele into the DA as the party’s first black leader.

She admits that bringing Ramphele on board as the DA’s presidential candidate in 2014 was “one of my biggest mistakes” and reveals that a funder – who she doesn’t name – would have donated big money to a Ramphele-led DA.

‘Obama style campaign’ with Ramphele

At the highest point of negotiations, the DA was willing to relaunch itself as “The Democrats” with Ramphele as leader, but talks broke down several times.

Ramphele believed she could attract 60% of the national vote and compared her campaign to that of US President Barack Obama who “had only started his bid for the US presidency with 1% support”.

Political analyst Moeletsi Mbeki, who was part of Ramphele’s negotiating team, told Zille they had fired fellow analyst Prince Mashele from Ramphele’s team after realising he was a National Intelligence Agency (NIA) spy who wanted “to destroy us”.

Zille didn’t believe Mbeki’s “absurd story”.

45 minutes before the announcement of Ramphele as DA presidential candidate, the parties were still differing about crucial details.

Zille also chronicles her battles with anorexia as a young woman and how she had to fight sexism and patriarchy as a student, journalist and politician.

- Zille launches her book at the Cape Town Press Club on Monday at noon.

Read more on:    da  |  helen zille  |  mamphela ramphele  |  lindiwe mazibuko  |  politics

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