South African politician suspended over colonialism tweets

Elias Hubbard
June 19, 2017

Magaxa said Zille's comments had not only divided her party but has also divided citizens.

Maimane, 36, who grew up in the township of Soweto, was fast-tracked through the party ranks by Zille, who was his predecessor as leader.

But Zille disputes this, saying the party's own rules aren't being adhered to.

"In order that we focus our organization on building one nation, I have spent countless times trying to resolve the matter that pertains to Premier Helen Zille using all available means".

The DA said Zille had been suspended from all party related activities until her disciplinary hearing is concluded.

"The notice calling for representations on suspension has already been served and requires any representations to be made within 72 hours", the party said later on Saturday.

While the news has been welcomed by some, others pointed out Zille will remain as the premier of the Western Cape.

"She has. humiliated the province and its people with her continuous Twitter attack on people of colour", ANC Western Cape acting chairperson, Khaya Magaxa, said in a statement.

"Secondly, the crucial decision lies in whether the DA accepts Zille's explanation about why she should not be suspended".

"I will not plead guilty to charges that have not been through a proper hearing", Zille said.

Briefing the media following the DA's two-day FedEx meeting in Johannesburg, Maimane said the meeting had considered the matter concerning Zille that was now before the DA's federal legal commission (FLC).

Maimane was during a press conference following a two-day sitting of the party's Federal Executive (FedEx) in Johannesburg which made the call.

In March, Zille tweeted: "For those claiming legacy of colonialism was only negative, think of our independent judiciary, transport infrastructure, piped water etc", she wrote.

The latest statement comes after Zille accused the party of bullying her into incriminating herself or resigning on Saturday afternoon.

The DA responded by saying she had been notified of its "intention to temporarily suspend her from party activities".

In April, the South African Human Rights Commission announced it would be investigating Zille's tweets.

Other reports by Click Lancashire

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