Helen Zille Quotes

Helen Zille.

I was an accidental politician. I never intended to go into representative politics.

If I'm asked my opinion, I will give it crisply and appropriately to the person who asks me.

Singapore had told me, and many many people that I'd interviewed there, that one of the reasons for their extraordinary success as a country was that they identified aspects of colonialism's legacy on which they could build and repurpose to the advantage of all Singaporeans and that was one of the core reasons of their success. You can repurpose some things and build on them, it's so obvious.

We've evolved from tiny little rural enclaves and communities to huge cities and nation states, but our capacity to organise ourselves and move beyond the mentality of the tiny little group in an outline remote area fending for ourselves hasn't changed at all.

I said the legacy of colonialism was not only negative and this is a lesson I had learnt in Singapore. How they took the negative, the positive, the neutral aspects, discarded the negative, but built on the positive so that in two generations everyone had been taken out of poverty.

There've got to be people upfront saying things that other people don't want to hear in society and if you're going to be controversial, so be it.

In politics, your job is not to be liked. Your job is to try and understand the truth and have the courage to speak it.

Jacob Zuma was on a tax revolt through his whole term.

I don't regret any of the controversies I've been in. I have tried to stand up for points of view that I believe to be important to be debated and facts that I think are important to be analysed and if they are controversial, so be it.

People who call me a racist are totally clueless of who I am and what my history is.

We can't simply close down uncomfortable debates by vilifying people, by lying, by calling them a racist. In South Africa, we have to learn to debate difficult issues otherwise there's no pathway into the future.

Analysts have never been in government and analysts have never tried to land a policy into a practical plan and implement it.

The reason why crime is out of control is because most criminals know they will get away with crime.

If you have a presidential candidate with 783 charges of corruption against him, your talk of fighting corruption in government is hollow.

The DA is the most nonracial party South Africa has ever had.

COPE is a good thing for South Africa. It divides the ANC, it breaks the ANC's monolith and therefore it helps us to build democracy.

COPE is to the ANC as Coke Lite is to Coke Zero.

The future is in the hands of every single voter in South Africa. It is pointless blaming the government and not doing something about it. You have the power in your vote to make the change, use it.

My parents made absolutely sure that we understood the evils of racial nationalism of any kind.

In 1994, even though I'd worked for majority rule my whole life until then, I said to my husband now that the next stage of the struggle is gonna start, we are going have to have checks and balances on too much power in the ANC. And that is why I went and voted for the DP and he voted for the ANC.

If the DA fails, South Africa's democracy fails.

I'm not the kind of person who bears grudges.

Leadership has always got to be accountable. Leadership comes with great risks and very few rewards and accountability is one of the risks.

All leaders who lead from the front have to take the punches and have to be accountable.