Western Cape Premier Helen Zille has been suspended after she failed to apologise to the country for her views on colonialism.
On Saturday‚ Democratic Alliance leader Mmusi Maimane announced that she will not be able to participate in any party activities until her disciplinary hearing is concluded.
Zille will‚ however‚ still remain in her government role.
Maimane told journalists that Zille’s views on colonialism affected the standing of the party and he would now have to rebuild public trust in the DA.
“This has not been an easy decision. But‚ as the leader‚ I must do what is right for the party and South Africa‚” he said.
Maimane hinted in a breakdown in relationship between himself and Zille‚ who was the previous leader of the DA.
“It has become quite evident that Helen Zille and I hold fundamentally different attitudes about the mission the Democratic Alliance needs to accomplish in 2019‚ and the goals and priorities that flow from this‚” 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.”
This caused widespread outrage‚ with Maimane saying at the time that those were not the views of the party.
Despite repeated requests for her to withdraw and apologise for her statement‚ Zille repeated and defended her sentiment.
“Ms Zille’s social media commentary and public utterances in connection with colonialism undermine our reconciliation project. There is no question that Ms Zille’s original tweets and subsequent justifications have damaged our standing in the public mind‚” Maimane said.
He said public representatives must be sensitive to “the legitimate anger that people still feel about our past and its legacy”.
Zille told TimesLive that she just returned from an event in Mitchells Plain and still had to find out what’s going.
“When I find out what’s going on I will put out a statement‚” she said.