Helen Zille agrees that 'whites are leaving the DA and blacks are transforming it'

25 October 2019 - 09:08 By Unathi Nkanjeni
DA federal council chair Helen Zille.
DA federal council chair Helen Zille.
Image: Alaister Russell

After a rollercoaster week for the DA, Helen Zille has agreed with sentiments that the party is undergoing a huge transformation.

The party's newly elected federal council chair agreed with a comment that white people were leaving the DA and black people were transforming it.

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The Institute of Race Relations' (IRR) Gareth van Onselen posted a list of names of those who had resigned from the DA.

Van Onselen noted that of the six DA members who had resigned from the party, only two were black — its former leader, Mmusi Maimane, and outgoing Johannesburg mayor Herman Mashaba.

The other four were white: Jonathan Moakes, Paul Boughey, James Selfe and Athol Trollip.

Based on the list, Twitter user @MathibeSell concluded that “whites are ditching the DA and blacks hand in hand with Helen Zille [are] rebuilding and transforming it”.

Responding, the Zille said the conclusion was “pretty close to the truth”.

Her comment came after some suggested that Maimane's resignation had to do with his race.

In his resignation speech, Maimane said the DA was not suited to build “one South Africa for all”.

“There comes a time when leaders must step back from all the noise and conjecture, and make a sober and honest assessment as to what the future holds. I have spent the past few days doing just that, alongside my wife.

“And in the end, we have come to the conclusion that despite my best efforts, the DA is not the vehicle best suited to take forward the vision of building one South Africa for all.”