“Her comments affect the momentum that the DA was picking up as the party explores the black constituency to achieve support,” said North West University’s Andre Duvenhage.
The way in which the disciplinary process was playing out in the media was dangerous, he added.
DA leader Mmusi Maimane announced Zille’s suspension from participation in party activities on Saturday but since then James Selfe, chairman of the DA’s federal executive, has said that she has been served with notice of intention to suspend her.
“She has until Tuesday afternoon to supply reasons why she should not be suspended,” said Selfe.
Duvanhage said the DA, in dealing with the Zille controversy, had to try to balance the support of black and white voters.
“The DA will gain black voters but might lose white voters and, the way the DA sees it is, they will win more black voters than lose white voters,” said Duvenhage.
Political analyst Dumisani Hlophe said the internal conflict in the DA invited questions about where the real power lies.
“This is Maimane’s chance to prove who is actually holding the power and authority in the DA because he has been in the dock over the tweets,” Hlope said.
He said Zille’s utterances were bringing the party into disrepute.
In March, Zille said on Twitter: “For those claiming legacy of colonialism was ONLY negative, think of our independent judiciary, transport infrastructure, piped water.”
Maimane said on Saturday that Zille’s views on colonialism affected the standing of the party and he would now have to rebuild public trust in the DA.
Zille told TimesLive she had sent a draft of her submission as to why she should not be suspended to her lawyers.
She said she had a meeting with Maimane two weeks ago but her suspension was not discussed.
“I have apologised twice and what I refuse to do is plead guilty,” said Zille.
She said she had not spoken to Maimane recently and had no idea why he announced her suspension when she had only been served with a notice of intention to suspend.
Asked how she saw her future in the DA, Zille said she preferred not to answer.
Maimane was not reachable for comment.