Zille: There is no war inside the DA

2013-11-12 00:00

CAPE TOWN — There is no war being waged in the DA, according to party leader Helen Zille and parliamentary leader Lindiwe Mazibuko.

The two DA leaders yesterday were speaking about the turmoil in the party after it voted for, instead of against, the Employment Equity Amendment Bill in Parliament last month.

The bill aims to increase a racial quota in workplaces and moves away from constitutional principles that govern affirmative action.

Last Thursday, the DA withdrew its support in a very heated caucus meeting during which Zille made clear her dismay with the many errors at the vote.

Publicly, she took full responsibility for how her party had “dropped the ball” with the vote and fully supported Mazibuko as the party’s parliamentary leader.

Zille said the two women met weekly to take decisions affecting the DA.

She said as two women with strong opinions they often differed on many topics while agreeing on others.

Mazibuko and Zille had agreed it was a mistake to vote for a bill that supported race-based quotas.

Mazibuko said the party’s liberal foundation, which allowed among others the freedom to give different inputs and hold opposing views, came with “a social responsibility”.

She said the realities left by apartheid’s racial engineering brought about injustices that still needed to be addressed. “It is not enough to say ‘oh well, pick yourself up and start working and everything will work out’,” she said. She added that the manner in which the legacies of the past were to be addressed was the source of major disagreements.

Zille was asked if it was not mutually exclusive to hold liberal values and aim to get more black votes.

“No, they are not,” Zille said.

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