Helen Zille calls out 'racial analysis double standard' over black members leaving the DA

30 March 2023 - 10:18
By Unathi Nkanjeni
DA federal chair Helen Zille. File photo.
Image: Freddy Mavunda DA federal chair Helen Zille. File photo.

DA federal chairperson Helen Zille has called out a “racial analysis double standard” over black members leaving the official opposition party. 

According to Zille, other political parties are never scrutinised when party members resign from leadership. 

Speaking on Newzroom Afrika, Zille said the DA is always analysed when black leaders leave the party. 

“A party is a voluntary organisation, people come and go all the time. The only people who come and go that are ever analysed, especially in a racist way, is if you happen to leave the DA and you are black and you leave for any reason,” said Zille. 

She said the same racial standard should be applied to other parties, including the ANC.

The DA's head of policy Gwen Ngwenya is the latest black member to resign from the party. She resigned from the party to lead Airbnb’s policy and legislative activities in the Middle East and Africa.

Ngwenya announced her resignation from the DA ahead of its federal congress, set to take place over the weekend. 

“I’ve accepted a role to lead Airbnb’s policy and legislative activities in the Middle East and Africa. It’s a big and awesome job to be tasked with, and for a company whose mission I’m so excited to help drive,” she explained.

“Thank you, DA, for the opportunity to shape the policy agenda at such an integral time in South Africa, to those leading governments who trusted me to provide a steer on issues, and also colleagues across the political aisle with whom I’ve developed lasting relationships.”

Zille said the party wished Ngwenya the best.

“Thank you so much, Gwen, for your many contributions and deep insights you brought to the DA's policy portfolio. We wish you all the best in your exceptional new global opportunity, and we will keep our discussions going into the future. All the very best!”

Party leader John Steenhuisen also thanked Ngwenya.

“I am very grateful for the role you have played in developing a strong policy suite that gives us a strong platform for the next election,” he said.

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