Zille steps up for dis­ci­plinary hear­ing

Weekend Argus (Saturday Edition) - - FRONT PAGE - BULELWA PAYI

WEST­ERN Cape Pre­mier He­len Zille made her first ap­pear­ance yes­ter­day be­fore the DA’s fed­eral Le­gal Com­mis­sion as part of a dis­ci­plinary process fol­low­ing the colo­nial­ism tweets she made.

None of the par­ties wanted to di­vulge much ex­cept that they’d mapped out lo­gis­tics and time­lines that would be fol­lowed.

These in­cluded the sign­ing of con­fi­den­tial­ity agree­ments to pro­tect the in­tegrity of the hear­ing by Tues­day.

● Sub­mis­sion of all doc­u­ments per­tain­ing to the mat­ter by June 23.

● A pre-hear­ing meet­ing to be held on June 30, con­firm­ing each party's readi­ness and deal­ings with any pre­lim­i­nary points.

Yes­ter­day's "be­hind closed doors" meet­ing lasted just over an hour.

Look­ing re­laxed and con­fi­dent, Zille said she was “happy” with the out­come of the meet­ing but there were other is­sues, par­tic­u­larly around con­fi­den­tial­ity, that needed to be ironed out.

“I do have a lot of in­for­ma­tion but, ob­vi­ously, I don’t want to speak out now. I am not at lib­erty to say any­thing,” she said.

She hinted the “road ahead” would be a long one.

She is be­ing rep­re­sented by lawyer Gert van der Linde.

The chair­per­son of the DA Fed­eral Le­gal Com­mis­sion, Glyn­nis Breyten­bach, said Zille was not re­quired to plead against any charges and de­scribed the pro­ceed­ings as hav­ing been “ex­tremely cor­dial”.

She said the com­mis­sion did not ex­pect the dis­ci­plinary process to take long.

“There’s no rea­son why it should drag for a long time,” she said but added that she couldn’t spec­u­late as to when it would be con­cluded.

On Wed­nes­day, the party an­nounced Zille’s sus­pen­sion from party-re­lated ac­tiv­i­ties un­til the con­clu­sion of the dis­ci­plinary hear­ing.

In a state­ment an­nounc­ing the sus­pen­sion, the party said Zille’s so­cial me­dia com­men­tary and pub­lic ut­ter­ances broke down pub­lic trust in the party, and her ac­tions had dam­aged the DA and brought the party into dis­re­pute.

How­ever, she re­mains the pre­mier of the West­ern Cape.

Zille stay­ing on as pre­mier was crit­i­cised by the EFF as well as by the ANC in the West­ern Cape Leg­is­la­ture. The ANC has filed a mo­tion of no-con­fi­dence to be put to vote at the next sit­ting on Thurs­day.

The ANC’s act­ing pro­vin­cial chair­per­son, Makhaya Ma­gaxa, ques­tioned how this sit­u­a­tion would play it­self out in the run­ning of the pro­vin­cial mat­ters.

“If Zille re­mains pre­mier while she is sus­pended as a DA mem­ber, which poli­cies will be im­ple­mented in the pro­vin­cial gov­ern­ment? Fur­ther­more, Zille was never elected as a per­son in gov­ern­ment but part of the DA pro­por­tional list,” he said.

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