Complacency the DA's greatest risk - Zille

2012-10-13 21:33
DA leader Helen Zille. (File, AFP)

DA leader Helen Zille. (File, AFP)

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Cape Town - Complacency is the greatest risk the Democratic Alliance faces in the Western Cape, premier Helen Zille said on Saturday.

"I always say that in politics, you are at your most vulnerable after your greatest victory. When you think you are safe, you are at your weakest," she told delegates at the provincial leadership congress in Cape Town.

"We must never assume we will automatically keep on winning here."

The party was increasingly focusing its attention on other provinces.

Zille said that provincial voters would change their minds if their party became complacent and self-serving.

"Let us be humble and remain true to our values and always put the people first."

Refugee comment

She cited as an example a comment she made on Twitter, in which she called Eastern Cape pupils who came to her province "refugees".

Her statement had been in reference to a protest in Grabouw over overcrowding at a local school.

She said she should have anticipated the tweet would have been taken in the wrong way and admitted it almost cost them the Grabouw ward.

Nonetheless, her party fought off the African National Congress to claim victory.

The party leader was welcomed into the Cape Town International Convention Centre room with the song, "dis Zille wat die wind laat waai", showing off her trademark energetic dance moves.


At least 864 members cast their votes for the provincial chair of finance, the deputy chairperson and four additional executive committee member positions.

Provincial social development and sport MEC Ivan Meyer was the sole nominee for the provincial leadership position and elected unopposed.

Western Cape health MEC Theuns Botha was voted in as deputy provincial leader and local government MEC Anton Bredell as provincial chairman, both being the sole nominees for the positions.

Ten people were contesting the position of deputy chair and four people the finance chair.

Zille praised the nomination and voting process.

"Unlike leadership changes in the ANC this change is not the result of in-fighting, corruption, bribery, threats and intimidation. It's exactly the opposite," she said.

"While our internal elections are hotly contested, they are also democratic, transparent, peaceful and positive."


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