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Helen Zille opens up about biggest mistake in office, DA losses

"I should have set that out clearly and said our goal is not representability, racial hegemony, and our goal is non-racialism, inclusion and diversity so we can start credibly debating the real issues that face South Africa."

Former DA leader Helen Zille has opened up about the party’s performance in the 2019 general elections and her biggest mistakes during her time in office.

In an interview on 702, Zille said “race-based politics” is what caused the DA to lose voters to the ideological right.

On diversifying the DA she said: “I did exactly the right thing. It was quite correct to diversify the DA. It was absolutely essential to do that, in fact.

“Where I was mistaken was to think that that would enable the DA to rise above the politics of race and focus on politics of principle, and policies that could help South Africa rise above poverty and awful unemployment rates.”

This in reference to her time in office and her leadership.

“What I should have seen was that this was just the beginning of a slippery slope in a culture like South Africa, in which the public analysis is that unless you satisfy the ANC’s definition of what is transformation, you will always be a white party, no matter how diverse you are.”

“I should have set that out clearly and said our goal is not representability, racial hegemony, and our goal is non-racialism, inclusion and diversity so we can start credibly debating the real issues that face South Africa.”

Referencing what may have led to the party’s marginal loss in support after the May 8 elections, Zille said, “The thing that really shook us was the question of the race-based politics and falling into the ANC/EFF’s race-based narrative that lost us huge numbers of votes to the right.”

More: timeslive

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