Disciplinary proceedings against Western Cape Premier Helen Zille could possibly start before an official decision has been taken regarding her possible suspension.
She has until Tuesday to motivate why she should not be suspended over a series of tweets she penned in March in which she defended certain aspects of colonialism.
The former Democratic Alliance (DA) leader will face a hearing on Friday.
The DA’s Federal Executive Chairperson James Selfe says: “I intend to circulate her representation to my colleagues on the Federal Executive and depending on the nature of their representations and the link with them, we’ll make our decision about how long they would need before reconvening.”
Political Analyst Dennis Silke has described the DA’s handling of the matter as clumsy.
“It’s been a disappointing show in my view, certainly from the leadership of the party. But at the same time I think former leaders have to understand that when their time is up, so to speak, it is best that they do not continue in office and therefore, hold out the potential of conflicting with the existing leadership.”
Silke said Zille should have retired when she vacated her position as the DA leader.
“And it probably proves the point once again that when you have been a former leader of a political party, its best to vacate office or retire rather than be later seen to be in conflict with your successor or a new generation of young leadership that takes over. And I think largely that is what we have seen happen emerging within the DA.”
DA leader Mmusi Maimane said while he was offended by the tweets he reiterated he doesn’t believe Zille is racist.
He, however, has stated that he and Zille have disagreed on the direction the party needs to take in the run up to the 2019 general elections.
A number of opposition parties have since called for the removal of Zille from her provincial position.
TONY LEON PRAISES MAIMANE
Former DA leader Tony Leon has praised Maimane for taking tough action against Zille over her colonialism tweets.
The party then issued a statement confirming Zille has been given until Tuesday to give her reasons.
Leon, who has called on Zille to step down, said as tough as it was, Maimane had to take action.
“And I think he had to take some form of legal action rather than waiting for an endless legal process to unfold. And I think he did well. Whether he did correctly legally or not is another matter. But I think he needed to take action to send a signal that this matter couldn’t continue at the moment.”