Mmusi Maimane slams IRR for 'domestic worker' treatment, says he treats Zille with 'professional courtesy'

18 October 2019 - 10:30 By Unathi Nkanjeni
DA leader Mmusi Maimane: 'If the IRR must involve itself in internal party policy, it’s an overstepping of its job.'
DA leader Mmusi Maimane: 'If the IRR must involve itself in internal party policy, it’s an overstepping of its job.'
Image: Twitter/Mmusi Maimane

DA leader Mmusi Maimane says being asked to step down by the Institute of Race Relations (IRR) was like “some sort of domestic worker relationship where they can tell me when to come and when to go”.

During an interview on Power FM, Maimane said IRR's campaign to “save the opposition” was a great pity.

TimesLIVE reported that the IRR called for Maimane to step down and allow Western Cape premier Alan Winde to take over and rescue the political party.

“I don’t subscribe to right-wing movements. If the IRR must involve itself in internal party policy, it’s an overstepping of its job. It’s supposed to provide ideas and ideals,” he said.

Asked how he felt about the DA members who are in the institute, Maimane said party members were free to associate with any movement they wanted to.

However, he said the institutions are not the DA. He called the IRR’s campaign a “patronising, supremacist approach that is dangerous”.

“They don’t have their feet at congress. I think it's a supremacist approach. I certainly think it’s dangerous and I think South Africans are conscious of this,” said Maimane.


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Maimane on Helen Zille

Asked how he felt about former DA leader Helen Zille’s relationship with the IRR, Maimane said he was not “not qualified to comment” on the matter.

TimesLIVE reported that not only was Zille part of the institution but she defended IRR's call for Winde to replace Maimane, saying it was valid. 

“The point he [IRR analyst Hermann Pretorius] was making, I think, is a valid one. The underlying point he was making, with which I agree, is that the DA cannot be a race-driven party,” said Zille.

Speaking on how he felt about her running for the DA federal chair position, Maimane said Zille was entitled to stand for any position she likes.

“Candidates must campaign. The only conditions upon which I will not work with any candidate is when we depart from the principle of a non-racial SA, one based on justice,” he said.

As far as his relationship with Zille was concerned, Maimane said it was “professional”.

“We’ve disagreed fundamentally on issues but I treat her with the professional courtesy she deserves.”


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