Zille steps up for disciplinary hearing
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.