Economic Freedom Fighters leader Julius Malema says that the DA must rid itself of Helen Zille, or else it will lose the EFF’s supportive votes in government.
At a press briefing on Thursday, Malema commented on the DA’s suspending Zille, saying that it was a half-job.
The DA announced on Wednesday that Zille, who is the former leader of the DA, was suspended from all party activities pending the outcome of a disciplinary hearing set to take place on Friday, 9 June.
Zille has been accused of bringing the DA into disrepute by making careless social media comments about the legacy of colonialism in South Africa, which drew the ire of many South Africans. When Zille was asked to stop commenting publicly, she continued to defend her position.
Despite her suspension from active party participation, she has been allowed to continue on as the premier of the Western Cape.
“How do you suspend her from your party but keep her for the people? The DA must stop disrespecting people,” Malema said.
The EFF leader argued that the people voted for the DA, not for Zille, when she was placed as premier of the Western Cape. Now that she is suspended, the question is raised as to who she represents.
Malema said that the EFF agreed with “the rest of South Africa” that Zille said racist things – referring to her social media posts and follow-up public comments around colonialism – and that the the DA should remove her as Premier and ‘deal with her’.
“The DA allowed Helen Zille to be the Jacob Zuma of the DA. Zille now allows her party to deteriorate like Jacob (Zuma) is doing. Zille is prepared to collapse this project because of her ego,” Malema said.
The EFF is not playing around with the matter either: Malema laid down the ultimatum that if the DA does not get rid of Zuma, it will take its vote back.
Malema threatened that the DA would be left with the Western Cape, while the EFF takes Tshwane and the City of Johannesburg back by refusing to vote with the party.
The EFF emerged as the kingmakers in the 2016 municipal elections after securing enough of the vote to be the deciding factor in who got to govern some of South Africa’s biggest metros.
Malema said that the EFF owes the DA nothing, and voted with the party to get the ANC out – “not to sustain white supremacy and arrogance”.
When the EFF pulls its support of the DA in the metros, it would simply not vote, and abstain from voting for anyone.
“No party must love individuals more than the party. If they don’t suspend her as premier we will take our vote back! We must demand from ANC what we also demand of each other. That is principle,” Malema said.