DA's U-turn on Zille suspension

Johannesburg - The Democratic Alliance (DA) has seemingly made a U-turn in its suspension of former party leader Helen Zille with the latest statement claiming the party has written to her to signify their intention to temporarily suspend her.

DA leader Mmusi Maimane on Saturday announced that Zille had been suspended from the DA following her controversial tweets about colonialism.

He said that it had become evident that he and Zille held fundamentally different attitudes about the mission that the DA must accomplish in 2019.

"I asked her to tender an unreserved apology to both South Africa and the DA for the damage she has done. Unfortunately, she declined," Maimane said.

The DA said Zille had been suspended from all party related activities until her disciplinary hearing is concluded. A notice of suspension will be served on her in this regard.

In a statement released on Saturday afternoon the DA seemed to have made a U-turn saying that the DA Federal Executive has written to  Zille to signify its intention to temporarily suspend her from Party activities until the conclusion of the disciplinary proceedings instituted against her.

“We have given Helen Zille the opportunity to indicate to us why she should not be suspended,” the statement read.

“The notice calling for representations on suspension has already been served and requires any representations to be made within 72 hours.”

“The final decision of the DA Federal Executive regarding whether to suspend Helen Zille will be made once any such representations have been made and considered.”

Shortly after the announcement of her suspension, Zille hit back at the party, accusing the party’s federal executive of not complying with its own constitution.

In a statement published on her Twitter account Zille said there was a contradiction in the letter she received from party chair, James Selfe, and DA leader Mmusi Maimane's announcement.

Zille said the suspension did not comply with Section 3.6.3 of the DA's own federal constitution which required that she be given time to make representations on the matter.

"In his letter, Selfe has given me until June 6 to provide reasons why I should not be suspended until the outcome of the disciplinary committee. Maimane's statement is unequivocal that the suspension is already in operation," her statement read.

Zille also refuted claims that she had not apologised.

"I have apologised. What I have not agreed to do is to plead guilty to charges of misconduct which I have never committed," she said.

Reasons stated by Maimane for the party’s federal executive to suspend Zille was not the full story, she said.

Zille was charged with bringing the party into disrepute following her post on Twitter that colonialism was not all bad.

Zille tweeted that the DA had now changed its suspension statement.

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