It seems that outgoing Democratic Alliance (DA) leader, Hellen Zille will be a puppet-master to the newly-elected black party leader, Mmusi Maimane, since he is indebted to her for her support.
Maimane was elected the new party leader at the DA’s Federal Congress in Port Elizabeth on Sunday.
“In any way the DA leadership wants me to support or help in whatever capacity, I’m there to do it,” Zille said in an exclusive interview with the SABC, adding to speculation that she is still in control.
Zille says she is confident that she has made the right decision to step down as party leader and has insisted she was not pushed into relinquishing her position.
“I spent a long time thinking about this decision. I knew when I was elected I would only stay 10 years at most. I think two five-year terms is fine. But then I was wondering do I go at 8 years or do I wait for that other two years and I spent about six months thinking about it, and about a month ago I thought: ‘Now is the time!'”
Zille has again defended Allister Sparks for his comments on Hendrik Verwoerd during his speech at the DA Federal Congress in Port Elizabeth on Saturday.
Zille says Sparks’ comments were taken out of context and that Sparks knew that the white Verwoerd was “evil”.
In Sparks’ defence, Zille said, “We all know he was a passionate supporter of the ANC and in fact, advised Nelson Mandela on communication strategies and other strategies, as an advisor, (and) not as a journalist. He knew and acted in every way to expose the evil of apartheid.”
She adds, “Evil people are not necessarily stupid people. And there is quite a difference in saying someone is intelligent and saying you support them. Some of the most evil people in our history have been some of the most clever and that is what is so frightening. So, he was not in any way paying a tribute to Verwoerd. In fact, he said it in his speech: ‘Apartheid was a crime against humanity.’ And very few people have done as much as Allister Sparks in journalism to expose that crime against humanity as he did.”
Zille hopes that being the puppetmaster to a black face would increase the party’s chances of attracting black votes, something she failed at miserably.