The African National Congress (ANC) is not buying Western Cape Premier Helen Zille's public apology and, instead, says she wields the real power in the Democratic Alliance (DA).
Just a few hours after Zille and DA leader Mmusi Maimane held a joint press briefing to issue an apology and to remove Zille from the party's top structures, ANC spokesperson Zizi Kodwa dismissed it.
"She is an unrepentant racist colonialist," Kodwa told News24.
Zille apologised for her tweets which justified certain aspects of colonialism. She said that her actions were insensitive to South Africans who suffered under colonial oppression.
Zille was charged with having broadly brought the party into disrepute and damaging the party. When she was asked to apologies by Maimane in May, she refused.
Kodwa said the press briefing clearly showed who wielded power in the DA.
"Zille is still, and remains, the leader of the Democratic Alliance. Maimane is a caretaker who can't take any decisions."
Kodwa said Zille and Maimane were forced to hold the press briefing because party funders had "threatened to pull out".
"There is no political will within the DA to rid the party of racism because, indeed, the party itself is founded on racism and the protection of white privilege.
"The DA has missed an opportunity to give effect to their now clearly meaningless statements about transformation and inclusiveness. Whilst the party will routinely criss-cross the country in an effort to woo black voters; they are unwilling to wean themselves off their traditional white and conservative base," he said.
During the press briefing, Maimane told journalists that Zille had been suspended from all party activities, but would remain premier of the Western Cape.
The ANC, however, said this was an attempt to mislead citizens.
"As a premier, she represents a party. They are being hypocritical. She is not elected only by the legislature. Her name came from the party, so she still represents the party.
"She will still go to a caucus of the DA because she is the leader of the DA at legislature. It's misleading to South Africans to say that she won't participate in any party activities, because there is a party caucus at the legislature," Kodwa said.