03/04/2017 06:41 SAST | Updated 03/04/2017 07:09 SAST

Helen Zille To Face Disciplinary Action Over Pro-Colonialism Tweets, says Maimane

DA leader Mmusi Maimane says she has made matters worse with comments after the original tweet.

Helen Zille.
Sumaya Hisham / Reuters
Helen Zille.

The Democratic Alliance's Federal Legal Commission (FLC) has recommended that disciplinary action be taken against the Western Cape Premier, Helen Zille, following her controversial tweet on colonialism, party leader Mmusi Maimane announced on Sunday.

In a briefing held in Cape Town, Maimane said a formal disciplinary hearing would be instituted against Zille.

"I referred Ms Zille to the Federal Legal Commission on 16 March 2017 for investigation in order for that body to determine whether the public assertions by Ms Zille amounted to prima facie evidence of misconduct in terms of the federal constitution.

"The Federal Legal Commission, in its report to the FedEx, confirms that there is a case for Ms Zille to answer, and therefore the FedEx has decided to proceed with disciplinary action," said Maimane.

The decision came after a series of tweets by Zille in which it appears she praised what she said were the benefits of colonialism.

At a snap debate on Tuesday in the provincial legislature over her recent tweets, Zille said she had never supported or justified, praised or promoted colonialism.

Maimane said it was not just the tweets that led to the FLC deciding to discipline Zille.

"Since then, the matter has developed further. Therefore the initial referral was supplemented on 22 March 2017 to include reference to a series of comments [made] publicly and on social media that have... exacerbated and amplified the original tweet."

Maimane said Zille has allegedly violated the party's federal constitution by acting in a manner which has brought the party into disrepute.

Western Cape ANC secretary Faiez Jacobs said that Zille remaining in her position was "proof that she is above the DA".

"The DA Federal Council has missed an opportunity to show the gravity of Helen Zille's Colonial praise, colonialism being the biggest crime ever committed against the people of Africa by allowing Zille to continue advancing colonial and divisive plans through the might of government."