South Africa's main opposition suspends ex-leader Zille after colonialism tweet

"Our federal executive has resolved that Zille be suspended from all party-related activities until such time that a disciplinary hearing is concluded", party leader Mmusi Maimane said.

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

In March‚ Zille took to Twitter where she said: "For those claiming legacy of colonialism was ONLY negative‚ think of our independent judiciary‚ transport infrastructure‚ piped water". Many black South Africans whose ancestors lost their land and civil rights under colonial rule continue to feel the effects of its legacy.

Stay on topic - This helps keep the thread focused on the discussion at hand. She was charged with having brought the party into disrepute. In this regard, he had asked Zille to tender an unreserved apology to both South Africa and the DA for the damage she had done.

This included asking Zille to apologise for her Twitter comments, which she refused to do.

She tweeted that the decision from the DA's Federal Executive to suspend her does not comply with the DA's own constitution, which requires that she be given time to make representations on the matter.

Zille could not be reached for comment.

"In this period Zille has continued to damage the party with various pieces of communication that seek to undermine what we are trying to achieve", he said. This comes after tweets sent out by Zille in March spoke about the positives of colonialism.

The party has taken much swifter action against Mbali Ntuli, a DA member of the KwaZulu-Natal provincial legislature.

Failing to discipline Zille could frustrate the DA's ambitions of securing a greater share of the black vote in national elections in 2019, but doing so could cost it the support of white and mixed-race voters in the Western Cape, where Zille has strong backing. According to News24, Maimane made the announcement at a media conference in Kempton Park on Saturday.

  • Zachary Reyes