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Helen Zille addresses viral audio clip on DA’s ANC ‘coalition plans’

DA federal council chair Helen Zille: 'The blue party is the colour of honesty.'
DA federal council chair Helen Zille: 'The blue party is the colour of honesty.'

DA federal council chair Helen Zille has responded to a leaked audio of her allegedly claiming the DA should go into a coalition with the ANC. 

This week a leaked audio from 2019 was circulated on social media in which Zille was heard saying the DA must consolidate its support at 20% and work with the ANC.

In the audio, Zille said the DA would consider going into a coalition with the ANC under President Cyril Ramaphosa’s leadership. 

“I’d rather make tough demands on Cyril Ramaphosa’s ANC and force to unite under them, and go into coalition with them and make strict conditions for them, than go into coalition with anyone else. That I think should be our aim in the next election. 

“We want 20% of South Africans and remember there’s only 8% of white voters. Between 15% and 20% gives us a strong, strong consolidated block in coalitions,” Zille can be heard saying in the audio.

However, speaking on CapeTalk on Tuesday, Zille claimed the audio was edited and taken out of context. 

Zille said the audio was recorded at a craft beer pub at Johannesburg’s OR Tambo International Airport. 

She said it was a “casual conversation” with the DA’s former Johannesburg caucus leader Funzela Ngobeni.

“Quite unknown to me, I was being recorded. They have carefully edited out the context of that discussion, taken a short clip, waited for two years now that the context was entirely changed, and a week before the election release it as if it means something that it does not mean at all,” Zille alleged. 

She said the DA was aiming to win a majority of 50% plus one so it doesn’t have to go into a coalition.

“People hate coalitions. They’ve seen what coalitions have done with their complete instability and the jumping of smaller parties from one side to the other,” she said.

Last week, Zille lambasted the ANC, saying it was using social grants to “blackmail poor people” to get votes. 

In a lengthy social media post, Zille alleged ANC leaders have been misleading the public by claiming social grants are delivered by the ruling party.

“One of the most outrageous features of the election is to see ANC ministers going around telling poor people their grants come from the ANC. They do not. They come primarily from the 7-million registered personal taxpayers in SA, most of whom do not vote ANC,” said Zille. 

“It is time the ANC stopped using grants to blackmail poor people. No person has lost a grant because they voted DA. Indeed, quite the opposite.”