Zille Says No to Cronyism as She Gets Tough over DA Candidate Lists

Cape Times (South Africa), February 2, 2009 | Go to article overview

Zille Says No to Cronyism as She Gets Tough over DA Candidate Lists


BYLINE: Christelle Terreblanche

DEMOCRATIC Alliance leader Helen Zille has put her foot down over party stalwarts squealing about their relatively low ranking on DA candidate lists, saying she won't tolerate crony systems in her party.

Zille told the Cape Times at the weekend the DA "must walk the walk" when it comes to its policy of campaigning for an "open opportunity society" and not fall into the trap of a closed system of patronage she accuses the ANC of being the master of.

"Now, most political parties have a group of insiders that perpetuate their own term in office", she said. "Then they don't have to worry about performance and delivery - as we saw in the old National Party, for example, where they thought governance was about consolidating their own positions by looking after each other."

But Zille also conceded there were weaknesses in the party's first performance assessment system that she introduced in 2007. It may have overlooked "past contributions" by public representatives, she said.

She was speaking on the sidelines of the DA's election campaign launch in Kliptown, Soweto, on Saturday, where she vowed the DA would win the Western Cape and position itself, through coalitions, for a slice of national power in 2014.

Zille will this week take that message to the Free State, KwaZulu-Natal and the Eastern Cape.

Draft DA lists released last week feature a number of newcomers, including Afrikaans radio personality Niekie van den Berg, former Agri-SA president Lourie Bosman and communications consultant Sej Motau. …

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