While pressure continues to mount on the Democratic Alliance (DA) to take decisive action against Western Cape Premier Helen Zille, growing reports making the rounds have it that DA Leader Mmusi Maimane wants Zille to step down as WC Premier.
Party members close to the leader disclosed that Maimane maintains that Zille’s controversial tweets, posted last week, are enough reason for his predecessor to leave the blue camp immediately.
Another Maimane confidant said even Zille’s allies in the Western Cape have continued to slam the controversial premier for headlining tabloids for another wrong reason.
“Even Helen Zille’s people in the Western Cape are gatvol [fed up]. But we’ll see. She won’t go without a fight … there are similarities between HZ and Thatcher,” the source said.
On Saturday, Zille met with the DA legal commission on Saturday to answer for her controversial tweets on colonialism. The party’s federal legal commission later finalized its report on the issue, which was subsequently handed over to the federal executive for a decision.
On Thursday, March 23, Zille and Maimane met behind closed doors in his parliamentary office but could not reach a resolution. Both leaders declined to comment on the outcome of the meeting, more so, it still remains unclear if Maimane told Zille to step down during the meeting.
Yesterday, when contacted, Zille bluntly refused to speak on the matter once more.
“I can’t talk about this, I can’t comment, whether the federal legal commission is charging me or not, whether I met Mmusi or I did not, what was said, what happened or what did not happen, I can’t comment on this,” she said.
Likewise, the DA leader said: “I cannot say anything about any meeting. It is important that the federal legal commission is left to do its job in a fair and balanced way. That is the difference between the DA and other parties. There will not be political interference.”
Meanwhile, the DA confirmed that it will meet with members of the Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF) on April 3, to discuss Zille’s tweets.
The EFF, on whose support the DA depends to govern the hung metros of Tshwane and Johannesburg, had called on the DA to immediately let Zille loose.
EFF national spokesman Mbuyiseni Ndlozi, on Sunday, declined to confirm or deny the meeting but reiterated that Zille must go.
“We reiterated our view that Helen Zille should step down as Western Cape premier, and we have expressed our deep dissatisfaction to the DA. We have decided to give their internal processes a chance to run their course.”
According to reliable sources, there are tell-tale signs that Zille might put up a fight, should the party call for her resignation. She has never shown remorse about her attitude and at times refused to meet other senior party members, the sources revealed.
Premier Helen Zille Might Not Step Down As Western Cape Premier
Apart from enjoying strong support from many whites, who form a solid chunk of DA voters, Zille is also a friend to some black leaders, including some who serve in the party’s Federal Executive Committee.
Some DA members want Zille removed as her colonialism tweet saga could harm the DA’s efforts to grow support among black voters.
But South Africa’s renowned political commentator Somadoda Fikeni thinks otherwise. Fikeni believes disciplinary measures against Zille may not include her stepping down as Western Cape Premier.
“I doubt it will lead to either an outright disciplinary action or her suspension or expulsion,” he said.
Fikeni’s sentiment was also shared by DA Free State leader, Patricia Kopane. Kopane said although she condemned Zille’s tweet, she doesn’t think Zille should be axed as WC premier. “I don’t think it’s a question of being recalled. The president [Jacob Zuma] has done worse.”
BuzzSouthAfrica understands that the Black First Land First (BLF) movement opened a crimen injuria case at the Hillbrow Police Station against Zille at the weekend.