POLITICS

The DA's Zille And Maimane Have Reached An Agreement On Those Colonialism Tweets

Full details of a deal struck between the two for Helen Zille's tweets on colonialism and disciplinary are due on Tuesday morning.

13/06/2017 05:18 SAST | Updated 13/06/2017 09:16 SAST
Marco Longari/AFP/Getty Images

A deal has been struck between Mmusi Maimane, leader of the Democratic Alliance (DA), and Helen Zille, Maimane's predecessor and premier of the Western Cape.

The details of the truce will be announced during a press conference at 10:30am on Tuesday at the Holiday Inn in Rosebank, Johannesburg. Both Maimane and Zille will address the media. Zille is travelling from Cape Town to attend the event.

Advisers to Maimane were on Monday night unwilling to share full details of the latest development, merely saying the fact that they were going to share a platform and that it was happening in Johannesburg, and not Cape Town, was significant.

Read: 9 Reasons Why Helen Zille Said She Did Not Deserve To Be Suspended

The former leader was charged for bringing the party into disrepute after a series of tweets in which she referred to colonialism as not having only negative consequences. She has been heavily criticised, with her detractors saying the tweets amounted to a defence of colonialism, which she has denied.

It is unclear what the details of the deal are, but it is known that Zille had been determined to fight the charges, and that she has refused to accede to Maimane's request for a specifically worded apology.

According to her submission to the DA's federal executive last week, Maimane has tried to force her to apologise "for defending colonialism". She denies that her tweets amounted to that and says she has already apologised if the tweets were interpreted that way.

According to insiders, Maimane was determined to convince Zille to back off from making a last stand in the disciplinary process and to agree that the damage to the party was severe. If she was unwilling to agree to that, the party would have considered forcing her to resign her premiership.