Transparency, Mashaba and Maimane: Five quotes from Helen Zille

23 October 2019 - 17:34 By Cebelihle Bhengu
The return of Helen Zille has sparked widespread changes in the DA.
The return of Helen Zille has sparked widespread changes in the DA.

Helen Zille was elected as the DA's federal executive chairperson council on Sunday. A day later, Herman Mashaba resigned as a member of the party and mayor of Johannesburg.

Since then, Zille has been outspoken about her relationship with Mashaba and his decision to call it quits.

Here are five quotes from Zille amid all the drama:

Staying in her lane

“I will not be the leader. I will play a background role. I will stay in my lane. I will participate where it’s appropriate for me to do so. I respect and support the leader and [the entire] leadership.”

Race-based voting

“I will not say that people who used to vote for us and don't vote for us any more are racist because those people voted for a black leader in 2016 [Mmusi Maimane], voted for Herman Mashaba in 2016 and voted for a black mayor, Solly Msimanga, in 2016.”

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Transparency is key

“It is absolutely critical in this role that one conducts it freely and fairly so that everybody knows they will be equal before the law and the processes of the DA - and that their future and their chances will not depend on which leader they are close to.”

Suffering while Mashaba got rich 

“I’ve been with the party since the progressives many, many years ago, and Herman also remembers that when he was being a very, very successful businessman - and I take my hat off to him for being an entrepreneur and highly successful in days when there were huge obstacles in his path - but he will remember that while he was making a fortune in business, I was hiding Umkhonto we Sizwe operatives in my house and I was exposing the murder of Steve Biko, so I’m not sure who these right-wingers are who he’s referring to,” she told eNCA.

Supporting Maimane 

“I would like to pay a tribute to our leader, his integrity in calling the review committee and his management of the honest discussion that we had around it. I'm here to support you and to make sure that our great vision succeeds.”