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Helen Zille ruffles feathers with ANC and apartheid-era cadre deployment comparison

19 January 2022 - 11:00
DA federal council chairperson Helen Zille compared the ANC government to the apartheid government.
DA federal council chairperson Helen Zille compared the ANC government to the apartheid government.
Image: Freddy Mavunda

DA federal council chairperson Helen Zille has again sparked debate with comments comparing the apartheid government and the ANC.

Asked by a follower to weigh in on the role of the Broederbond during apartheid and a claim the ANC’s policies are similar to those of the National Party (NP), Zille said there are differences.

“There is one interesting difference. The old NP ‘cadre deployment’ usually managed to build strong state-owned entities, a capable state, and led to significant industrialisation and economic growth. Quite the opposite under the ANC,” she said.

Zille’s statement drew mixed reaction, with some saying the DA has its own cadre deployment policy.

She later said: “All cadre deployment is wrong. In extreme cases, it results in a collapsed state, such as we have now.”

She alleged a policy that all appointments must be approved by the DA’s federal executive was introduced by former party leader Mmusi Maimane but was scrapped when she returned to the party as chairperson of the federal council in 2019.

“When I came back, we recognised it as cadre deployment and the policy was rescinded. That is the fact,” she said.

Maimane denied Zille’s claims.

This is not the first time Zille has ruffled feathers with her views on apartheid.

In 2020 she caused a storm on Twitter when she said there were more racist laws under the ANC government than during apartheid.

“There are more racist laws today than there were under apartheid. All racist laws are wrong. But permanent victimhood is too highly prized to recognise this,” Zille said at the time.


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