Wednesday, June 07, 2017

The DA's Federal Executive on Saturday gave Helen Zille 72 hours to explain why she shouldn't be suspended pending a disciplinary hearing.

Democratic Alliance leader Helen Zille on Wednesday had to cut short her campaign tour of Alexandra township after news of the SABCS alleged ban on yet another of her partys election adverts. Picture: EWN

Eyewitness News

CAPE TOWN - Western Cape Premier Helen Zille has officially been suspended by the Democratic Alliance's Federal Executive.

Zille is facing a disciplinary process after DA leader Mmusi Maimane lodged a complaint against her over a series of tweets in which she argued that not every aspect of colonialism was bad.

She had until Tuesday to motivate why she should not be suspended from the party.

On Saturday, DA leader Mmusi Maimane announced that Zille was to be suspended for her series of tweets suggesting colonialism wasn't all negative for South Africa.

Hours later the Federal Executive released a statement saying the Western Cape leader had in fact been given 72 hours to explain why she should not be suspended over the Twittier missives.

Zille filed her reasons on Tuesday.

While the former DA leader says she has apologised for her comments, she remains steadfast that she should not face disciplinary action for the tweets.

Moments after the Federal Executive announced its decision to suspend her, Zille again took to Twitter, this time posting a link to a nine-page document which lays out why she believes she should not be suspended.

In a fresh, hard-hitting statement, the Executive says an "overwhelming majority" decided to suspend Zille pending her disciplinary hearing, which will start on Friday 9 June.

"There is no question that Ms Zille's original tweets and subsequent justifications have damaged our standing in the public mind."

The statement says Maimane personally tried to resolve the matter in an amicable manner.

"Mr Maimane has pursued every avenue to resolve this matter. All of his previous good faith attempts have thus far been to no avail."

Federal executive chairperson of the party James Selfe says the hope is that through the disciplinary hearings the matter can be dealt with outside of the wider debate within the party.

“What we’re seeking to do with the suspension is to insulate and isolate this particular disciplinary hearing from a broader debate within the party. I think it’s in the interest of justice and Zille that we separate the issue of her comments and the consequences of those comments from a broader debate within the party.”

Zille fell foul of DA leadership following tweets in which she suggested colonialism offered many benefits to South Africa.

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