Former DA head, Helen Zille, is once again in the spotlight, this time for claiming that she had promoted black leaders during her tenure. Some of the Democratic Alliance's top black leaders have blasted her for the comments, including a provincial leader who said her comments were 'disgusting'.
Helen Zille's comments that she promoted black leaders during her time at the helm of the Democratic Alliance has ruffled feathers in the party.
Yesterday saw some of the DA's top black leaders condemning the notion, with Free State provincial leader Patricia Kopane slamming her for claiming credit:
“I was never promoted by her or anybody in the DA. Before I became the leader in 2012, I campaigned and travelled everywhere before the congress where I was elected. As black people in the party we are where we are because we worked hard, not because someone or some people promoted us. If Helen Zille takes the credit for the black leadership in the DA, that’s her own thing."
Zille had commented that promoting diversity in the party had been crucial when she had taken over, to unify a divided South Africa and get rid of the DA's 'white party' tag:
“Eventually, I concluded that, if the party was led by a black person, and backed by a significant majority of elected black provincial leaders, we would finally rid ourselves of this tag."
Zille further claims that she had increased support for the party by more than 100%, adding that its strategists had attempted to publicly crush her in a last resort to get rid of their 'white image', reports IOL.
Meanwhile, it appears as if Zille has fallen out of favour with many in the party. Makashule Gana, DA caucus chair in Gauteng, says he no longer has time for the former premier.
John Moodey and Nqaba Bhanga, Gauteng and Eastern Cape provincial leaders, have refused to comment on her remarks. Moodley says that:
“She’s no longer the leader of the DA. She’s just an ordinary member and I have nothing to say about her.”
At the time of publication, Zille, Maimane and DA national spokesperson, Solly Malatsi, could not be reached for comment.
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