Jan Gerber, News24
Western Cape premier Helen Zille reacts to an ANC speaker, Cameron Dugmore, referring to her infamous ‘refugee-tweet’ during a debate on racism in the Western Cape. (Jan Gerber, News24)
ANC leader of the opposition Khaya Magaxa said on Friday that Zille should be removed immediately from office after “her party lost confidence in her” and she was suspended.
“It is clear that Zille refuses to resign as premier. To prevent the province from being dragged down further and used as a tool for settling DA scores, Zille must go.”
Magaxa said the Western Cape could not afford to be pulled apart by two centres of power in the “deeply divided DA”.
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“The ball is now in the DA’s court to send Zille packing and save what is left after continued controversies and more disrepute during her tenure,” said Magaxa.
“If Zille remains premier whilst she [is] suspended as DA member, which policies will be implemented in the provincial government? Furthermore, Zille was never elected as a person in government, but part of the DA proportional representative list.”
The ANC has submitted a no confidence motion.
According to Magaxa it would be put to vote at the next sitting on Thursday in the provincial legislature.
DA chief whip in the Western Cape legislature, Mark Wiley, said it was not necessarily the case that the motion would be debated and put to the vote this Thursday.
‘I doubt it will have a chance of success’
He said the motion would be tabled, from where it would go to the Western Cape speaker, Sharna Fernandez, who would decide with the programming committee whether it would be heard this coming Thursday or at a later stage.
Asked if he thought the motion had a chance of success, Wiley said: “I doubt it will have a chance of success if it comes to a vote.”
This motion comes after the DA suspended Zille from all party activities pending her disciplinary hearing, following her controversial tweets about colonialism after a trip to Singapore earlier this year.
Zille remained defiant, saying she was as “tough as old biltong” and that “it is not over until the fat lady sings”.
Advocate Glynnis Breytenbach, the chairperson of the DA’s federal legal commission, said they had met with Zille on Friday and agreed on a timeline for the process going forward.
By June 13, all parties had to sign confidentially agreements to protect the integrity of the hearing.
By June 23, all documents pertaining to the matter had to be submitted to the FLC and, on June 30, the pre-hearing meeting, confirming each party’s readiness and dealing with any preliminary points, would be held.