Helen Zille says she can bring 'unity and stability' back to the DA

08 October 2019 - 10:53
By Unathi Nkanjeni
Helen Zille says South Africa’s democracy depends on the DA succeeding.
Image: DONNA WATSON Helen Zille says South Africa’s democracy depends on the DA succeeding.

Former DA leader Helen Zille is campaigning hard for the party's most powerful position - federal chairperson - insisting that she was asked to re-enter politics in an effort to help boost the official opposition.

TimesLIVE reported that Zille was gunning for the position following reports that embattled DA leader Mmusi Maimane was under threat of removal.

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According to Sunday Times, former party head Tony Leon asked Maimane to resign.

This after allegations over his lifestyle prompted an internal investigation into his rented Cape Town home and a Steinhoff-linked luxury car.

In an interview on eNCA, Zille said she was asked to come out of retirement and return to politics by “several people” who encouraged her to compete for the position.

“I’m back because I was asked. I think I can bring unity and stability to the party. I think the party is suffering very much at the moment. It’s a party I have invested my whole life into.

"South Africa’s democracy depends on the DA succeeding. I really would like to put every effort I can into it again,” said Zille.

Zille confirmed on social media she would be applying for the position.

If she were to be elected as the federal chairperson, Zille said, she would not act outside her mandate. She dismissed the claims that her return to the party would “alienate” black voters, insisting that under her leadership the black vote grew.

“The DA’s black vote grew under my leadership,” Zille said. “People must just watch the results I have had in the past.”

Speaking on supporting Maimane, Zille said she supports anyone who leads the DA.

“I will certainly support him in the position as leader. I support any duly constitutionally elected position in the party.”