DA Leader Regrets Keeping Helen Zille In Party Structures

PICTURE: Jacaranda FM

JOHANNESBURG: Maimane said Zille, who enthusiastically backed him as her successor, would not return to any DA government positions after her term as premier ended next year.

DA leader Mmusi Maimane has for the first time admitted to difficulties in his relationship with Western Cape premier Helen Zille, saying she should have been removed from decision-making structures after she stepped down as party leader in May 2015.

Maimane said Zille, who enthusiastically backed him as her successor, would not return to any DA government positions after her term as premier ended next year.

Maimane said it was “untenable to keep your former leader and your current leader … in the same structures, or in the same functions”, and Zille should have been given a “different role”.

“Being a party leader is like being a pilot, flying through turbulent waters. The last thing you need is the former pilot sitting in the jump seat trying to tell you what to do,” he said.

In a frank interview with the Sunday Times this week, Maimane spoke openly for the first time about the party’s internal battles, and admitted some of the DA’s mistakes, including the management of issues with Zille and Cape Town mayor Patricia de Lille.