Helen Zille optimistic and determined after years in politics

South Africa’s future and confessions about politics and life were central issues at a discussion between Helen Zille and Max du Preez at the US Woordfees this past weekend.

Zille discussed her autobiography Not Without a Fight.

She said that the current leader of the DA, Mmusi Maimane became leader too early. When Du Preez about her biggest political mistake she confessed that it was her failed alliance with Dr Mamphela Ramphele.

Zille engaged openly with Du Preez and audience members alike. Questions were raised about whether a career in politics made her cynical and whether it is better to be good opposition rather than being a bad ruling party.

Zille responded that she did not get cynical because she knows what it means to live in a country under the rule of law. “Democracy is never won, it has to be fought for and won  by every generation,” she said.

Helen Zille was very honest about her past. The audience was thrilled to hear the story about when she danced with President Jacob Zuma. She confessed that she cannot dance but has tried to get her husband to join her for dancing lessons.

This discussion opened the Afrikaanse Taal- en Kultuurvereniging’s (ATKV) writer’s festival this weekend.  – Aydn Parrott and Marius Boonzaier

The Journalist and the Politician: Max du Preez and Zille in conversation