DA denies Helen Zille's claims about its election strategy

2019-06-10 14:44
Helen Zille. (Photo: Malherbe Nienaber/Netwerk24)

Helen Zille. (Photo: Malherbe Nienaber/Netwerk24) (Foto: Malherbe Nienaber)

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The DA has denied the claims of it former leader Helen Zille that part of the party's election strategy was to publicly shame her to get rid of its white party image. 

Among many claims the former Western Cape premier made in her May column, Zille said the party concluded that "if they could crush me publicly, we would truly, at last, lose our "white-party" image. This is not a conspiracy theory. I have a document that was circulated to the federal executive explaining it."

But at a media briefing in Johannesburg on Sunday, DA leader Mmusi Maimane denied this and said Zille was an ordinary member of the party. Reiterating federal chairperson Athol Trollip, Maimane said she was involved in the party's election campaign until the end.

"If she was being crushed out of the campaign, she wouldn't be participating. She promoted the DA across the country. She was an integral part of the campaign.

READ MORE: Helen Zille: What I learnt from tea with Thuli – personal responsibility is key

"She has a distinguished career within the DA. She is now an ordinary member and she will choose what she will play in the party as an ordinary member. She was involved in the campaign. She was not squeezed out of the campaign," he said. 

The party has skirted around the issue of disciplining Zille even among growing calls by the public to act against her. Zille has been the subject of controversy in recent years having tweeted controversial statements about colonialism and race. This has led some to doubt Maimane's ability to control his predecessor. 

In May, Zille caused a stir when she tweeted that black privilege was being able to loot a country and steal hundreds of billions and get re-elected.

Former Public Protector Thuli Madonsela responded, saying that she should apologise for branding black people looters and political pretenders.

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