Mmusi a good guy‚ just badly advised: Helen Zille
Newly elected DA federal council chairperson Helen Zille insists there was no bad blood between her and Mmusi Maimane‚ but that the former DA leader was badly advised in both his resignation from the party and in what has been dubbed the “Crush Zille” campaign.
“I like Mmusi‚ I respect him. We were very close until people advised him that if you want to get rid of the tag of being the head of a white party‚ which is totally untrue. It was a way of the ANC of keeping this race narrative alive‚ that he was Zille’s puppet. They said to him ‘you know‚ Crush Zille’ and then you won’t be a puppet any more. That’s where all the problems came from‚” she told the Cape Town Press Club on Thursday.
“The bottom line is that he is a very good guy and I think he was badly advised for a very long time‚” said Zille.
She said the party would have loved for Maimane to remain an MP and that he‚ too‚ wanted to – but‚ regrettably‚ he had included a line in his speech about the DA not being the vehicle best suited to take forward the vision of building one South Africa for all.
“He put this line in his speech and I said to him afterwards‚ ‘Why did you do it’? And he said to somebody else‚ not to me: ‘I was badly advised’‚” revealed Zille‚ responding to a question about Maimane’s future.
She said she wasn’t aware what lay in his future but was sure he will fall on his feet because he is highly capable.
“But he is a nice person and you can’t be a nice person if you want to be surviving in political leadership. Very hard‚” she said.
Maimane resigned as DA federal leader last Wednesday but announced that he would continue in the role of the party’s parliamentary leader until the end of the year. Zille revealed that had Maimane not resigned from the caucus the next day‚ DA MPs were going to vote him out in a vote of no confidence.
Even after Maimane and Trollip confirmed their plan to resign and could not be convinced to rethink‚ it was agreed that Maimane would stay on as parliamentary leader.
“Unfortunately he went out and read a pre-prepared speech and he said the DA was no longer the vehicle best suited to take forward the vision of building One South Africa for All”.