“If you are a racist of any kind, leave! There are racists of all races in South Africa. I’m not the type of person who believes if you’re black, you can’t be a racist. “
This is how Helen Zille, the new chair of the DA’s federal council, said in a television interview with JJ Tabane of Newzroom Africa on Monday night.
Zille discussed the issue of race in South Africa and the DA after being elected to the DA’s federal chair this weekend. She takes over the role of James Selfe, who has been in the post for almost two decades.
The interview, of which video clips were posted on Twitter, was broadcast on the same day as Johannesburg Mayor Herman Mashaba announced his resignation.
Mashaba announced at a news conference he resigned as mayor and DA member over Zille. He says the DA with Zille as chairman of the federal council is not the DA he joined.
Zille made it clear in the television interview that the DA differs substantially from the ANC and that they welcome diversity while not looking at race.
“We are not like the ANC who say you are only diverse if you are 100% black. This is what the ANC is doing. They became a non-diverse party. They believe they have a monopoly on diversity because they have almost no white people (in the party) left. And they like it. They think white people don’t make things more diverse. “
Zille says the DA’s premise is that people have rights, no matter what race they are.
She also states in the interview that no one in the DA thinks race is irrelevant and says it is not her opinion that people who did not vote for the DA are racist.
“Those people who left us or who just decided not to vote in the last election voted for a black leader (Mmusi Maimane) in 2016,” says Zille.
Zille then mentions that the people also voted for Mashaba in 2016, as well as Solly Msimanga, former mayor of Tshwane.
She believes people who are racist will not vote for black leaders and say it is too simplistic to just assume that people who left the DA are simply racist.
“I do not agree that white people will only vote for white people and black people will vote only for black people. If that is true, then we must tackle our democracy. “
Zille says South Africa has become obsessed with race and color and that she probably can’t even go outside and says the sky is blue because people will scold her as a racist and says she is racist because the DA’s colors are blue, which she calls “crazy”.
Zille says people in South Africa, regardless of their race, must stand together on the basis of values and because they share the same vision.