Zille Is Fighting To Uphold DA Principles

The DA’s treatment of Helen Zille is completely at odds with its official commitment to an “an open, opportunity society” and its motto of “freedom, fairness and opportunity.” Thus, in terms of the liberal tolerance to which that equates, Mark Lowe (Mercury, June 5) is quite correct in indicting the DA of scoring “a spectacular own goal.”

By his impulsive reaction to Zille’s perfectly objective remarks about the legacies of colonialism and his call for her to be disciplined as a result, DA leader, Mmusi Maimane, has violated the DA’s
fundamental philosophy of liberal tolerance. Moreover, he has shown himself to be ignorant of history and given to shallow populism like Julius Malema.

As Mark Lowe has noted, the silence of the rest of the DA over what the uncalled for indictment of Helen Zille means is deafening. Is there nobody in the DA with the necessary courage to tell
Maimane that autocracy is not DA policy?

There is far more at stake than simply trying to rake in more black voters in 2019 as seems to be Maimane’s sole vision. The issue involving Helen Zille concerns the survival of educated, tolerant diverse, liberal opinions within the DA. By defending herself against the charges brought against her Zille is not only fighting to preserve her self-esteem, but she is fighting to uphold the principles which underpin the DA. That is real leadership.

Sent into The Mercury and published, 6 June 2017.

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