Helen Zille at the DA’s federal congress

Helen Zille, the leader of the official opposition, has unequivocally stated that the DA will not tolerate homophobes in its ranks.

Zille made the comment in her speech at the DA’s federal congress in Boksburg on Saturday.

“The DA is NOT a party for racists. It is NOT a party for sexists, xenophobes or homophobes,” said Zille.

“It is NOT a party for people who think that life was better under apartheid. And it is not a white party. Or a black party. Or a brown party. It is a South African party, for all the people, united in the pursuit of a better life for everyone.”

At the conference, Zille was re-elected unopposed back into the party’s top post, seeing her positioned to lead it into the 2014 elections.

The DA has been actively working to shed its image as a “white” party. Notably, Mmusi Maimane and Makashule Ganawere were elected, along with Anchen Dreyer, to the three positions of deputy federal chairperson at the conference.

The DA has been the most vocal of the political parties in parliament on issues facing the LGBT community. It is also the only political party to boast publicly-out gay MPs.

Zille recently visited the family of Sihle Sikoji, the 19-year-old lesbian who was killed in what is believed to have been a hate crime. She said afterwards that, “The attack on Sihle once again highlights the scourge of hate crimes against lesbian women, and LGBT people more broadly, that continues to ravage our communities, leaving devastated families in their wake.”

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