Premier of the Western Cape, Helen Zille, has announced that she will be stepping down from all decision-making structures of her party, the Democratic Alliance (DA).
Following a series of controversial tweets surrounding the topic of colonialism and her defence of said tweets, Zille was charged with bringing her party into disrepute.
“I, therefore, apologise unreservedly to the South African public who were offended by this tweet and my subsequent explanation of it”, expressed Zille at the end of the announcement. “I realised the wounds of history that my tweet and subsequent explanation of it have caused”.
Sitting alongside her current DA leader Mmusi Maimane explained that although regrettable, the decision had to be taken, and taken quickly, to ensure that the views expressed in the tweets would not reflect the views of the party.
Maimane explained that the decision was taken at a Federal Executive level and that Zille had agreed with the outcome.
“I was personally angered by the tweets that were put forward by Helen Zille and I know many others were as well”, added Maimane. “I want people to understand that under my leadership the DA has been working hard to reconcile South Africans, black and white, in pursuit of a common vision of progress and prosperity for all”.
Federal Executive Chairperson of the DA, James Selfe expressed that no one wanted to remove Zille, but that a certain responsibility remained to South Africans.
Zille will remain Western Cape premier until the completion of her mandate in 2019