DA suspends Helen Zille pending outcome of disciplinary hearing

Note to Editors: the following statement was delivered today by DA Leader, Mmusi Maimane, at a press conference following a two day sitting of the party’s Federal Executive (FedEx) in Johannesburg. The Leader was joined by DA National Spokesperson, Phumzile Van Damme.
Yesterday and today, the DA Federal Executive (FedEx) met to discuss and deliberate on a number of important matters affecting South Africa.
There was recognition that our country and its people are in pain right now. And all South Africans share a deep level of worry and concern for the future of our country.
Our nation faces crisis after crisis. Unemployment has reached a 13 year high. Our education system is failing. And too many of our women and children live in fear for their lives.  It doesn’t have to be this way.
Together, we are witnessing the death of a liberation movement that many South Africans held dear.  It is now up to the DA, working together with those who share our core values – including other political parties, civil society, and trade unions – to realise a vision for South Africa that delivers a better tomorrow for all our people.
We will continue to focus all its efforts on unseating the Gupta-captured ANC in 2019 and installing a DA-led coalition government. Where we govern, both outright and together with our coalition partners, we are steadily making progress towards improving the lives of South Africans. We are determined to take this progress to national government which we will form in 2019 on the basis of the following shared values: constitutionalism, inclusive economic growth, non-racialism, a capable state and zero tolerance for corruption.
We can work together to rebuild this country the way we want it to be. Clean government, quality education, economic growth, job creation, safety and increased support for those most vulnerable in society.
This is our focus. And we will continue to deliver our message of hope and change to millions of South Africans throughout the country. Nothing should distract us from this goal.
In this respect, the Federal Executive considered the matter concerning Helen Zille that is currently before the Federal Legal Commission.
In order to ensure that our party focuses on building one nation with one future, I have been working to resolve this matter using all available means.
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.
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.
We live in a fragile democracy which means our public representatives must, at all times, be sensitive to the legitimate anger that people still feel about our past and its legacy.
As the Leader of the party, it is up to me to rebuild public trust. In this regard, I asked Ms Zille to tender an unreserved apology to both South Africa and the DA for the damage she has done. Unfortunately, she declined.
In this period, Ms Zille has continued to damage the party with various pieces of communication that seek to undermine what we are trying to achieve. Accordingly, Federal Executive has resolved Ms Zille be suspended from all party related activities until such time as her disciplinary hearing is concluded. A notice of suspension will be served on Ms Zille in this regard.
This has not been an easy decision. But, as the Leader, I must do what is right for the party and South Africa.
I have been inspired these past two days by our party’s resolve and commitment to effecting good delivery where are in government and to effecting change for the people of our great country.
I believe there is great hope for our nation. More and more people are seeing that that we need to forge a post-ANC future. And that future will be a DA-led coalition government founded on the values of freedom, fairness and opportunity.
We will redouble our efforts to take our offer of a united, non-racial and prosperous South Africa to every door throughout the country to build a movement for change that inspires hope about the great future our country can have.