Helen Zille’s passion, patriotism and organisational strengths were the qualities that lifted the DA from a small opposition party (11% of the national vote) that was a thorn in the flesh of the ANC behemoth to serious contender status, wresting the Cape Town metro and then the Western Cape from the grip of the corruption-riddled ANC. Progressively, the DA began taking control of more municipalities and metros.
Seeing the writing on the wall some 12 years ago and knowing that it could not match the DA in terms of governance or accountability, the ANC launched a disinformation campaign against DA leaders, especially Zille. It was put out that the DA was a party “solely for the benefit of whites”, and when Mmusi Maimane took over as DA national leader the ANC claimed he was not in charge as Zille was his “madam”.
Zille’s tweet that “colonialism was not all bad — in the sense that it had created a lot of invaluable infrastructure”, was deliberately taken out of context by the ANC trolls, who depicted the comment as “thoroughly racist”. The DA leadership has not had the conviction, gravitas or unity to stand up to, or expose, the ANC’s political chicanery.
The reason Zille is still relevant in SA politics is that many patriotic South Africans (and there are many) know her as the only individual who has shown the essential passion and commitment to save SA from its self-serving politicians. The coalition politics that has managed to partially unseat the nefarious ANC, and once had the potential for far more, was the product of Zille’s driving spirit.
As things stand, we can only hope that her new role as DA federal chair is significant enough to clean up the “mess” (Zille’s own words) the party is in. Our beloved country is in dire straits. Zille and others like her are needed now more than ever.
Nelson Mandela Bay
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