Zwelinzima certainly has a lively imagination. Next he'll probably say I asked him to marry me!
In all the many chats we have had, over the years, at events, sports functions, over the telephone and in sms correspondence, I have never tried to recruit him to the DA.
Maybe he wishes I had. But I'm afraid that would be absurd, given our divergent approaches to growing the economy and creating jobs. If people disagree on their approach to SA's greatest challenge, it is impossible to absorb them into the same political party.
We have spoken about how to combat corruption, and stop the Secrecy Bill and various other issues of common interest - but not about how to form one party.
I remember various interactions with Zwelinzima well. One was the sad occasion of the funeral of Judge President of KwaZulu-Natal, Herbert Msimang. I and various other politicians were seated in the front row.
Zwelinzima arrived late. There was only one vacant chair left - next to me. Because he wanted to sit in the front row, he had to take it. As he was late, he did not have a hymn sheet, so I shared mine with him. I joked: "This is probably the only time you and I will be singing off the same hymn sheet". He had a good laugh. So did I.
COSATU has supported the DA on various issues, ranging from corruption to life-style audits for politicians. Zwelinzima accepted an invitation from the DA's Western Cape Cabinet to discuss with us the implementation of life-style audits.
Two days before the planned meeting he cancelled but said we could re-schedule. He then ducked and dived saying something to the effect of: "Helen, you are trying to get me into trouble". I laughed and disagreed, saying we wanted to hear how he thought life-style audits should be implemented.
I regularly see Zwelinzima at various events, and we joke about how many political names begin with a "Z" and various other bits of banter. But I have never had a serious policy discussion with him. So it would be patently absurd to invite him to join the DA! Anyone, with the vaguest understanding of politics, would get that.
When COSATU was planning its march against E-tolling, they invited us to join them. We said yes. They quickly back-tracked. Now they pretend it was the other way around. As I would say in my sms correspondence with Zweli: Lol!
While the DA and COSATU are in full agreement on issues such as corruption and e-tolling, we fundamentally differ on how to address South Africa's biggest crisis: poverty and unemployment.
The DA's approach (that will be launched as our 8% Growth Project soon) corresponds with that of the National Planning Commission and the National Development Plan (NDP). COSATU opposes the NDP. That says all that needs to be said about the absurdity of COSATU and the DA forming one party.
Helen Zille, Leader of the Democratic Alliance