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Johannesburg - Democratic Alliance leader Helen Zille's reference to Eastern Cape pupils who flocked to the Western Cape for a better education as refugees was “inhumane”, the Eastern Cape ANC said on Saturday.
“This... inhumane statement coupled with unfair labelling against school children studying in the Western Cape are further testament to the fact that the DA thinks Western Cape is a place for whites only,” provincial spokesman Mlibo Qoboshiyane said in a statement.
“If there has ever been a need for proof that the liberation struggle for freedom in South Africa was incomplete, this must be one such.”
The DA leader sparked a war on social networking sight Twitter on Tuesday as many users were angered by her use of the word “refugee”.
However, Zille remained firm and defended herself throughout the day.
Her statement was in reference to a protest in Grabouw over overcrowding at a local school.
The DA shifted the blame to the department of public works' continuous delays in approving alternative land to build additional school buildings in the area.
Qoboshiyane said Zille's comments were inspired by “her narrow attempt to score cheap political points”.
“Zille ignored the fact that there are more people from the Eastern Cape relocating to provinces like Gauteng, Kwa-Zulu Natal and Mpumalanga. This they do because they are free to do so,” he said.
“We are glad that this latest statement evinces Zille's true colours, which are contrary to her false claims that they embraced Comrade Nelson Mandela's views.”
On Wednesday African National Congress national spokesman Jackson Mthembu said Zille's comment was “racist” and should not be tolerated.
“Zille's racist statement underpins the DA's policy of exclusionism of blacks,” he said.
“She will never say the same thing about whites who relocate from one area of the country to the Western Cape or even those who relocate from other countries to the Western Cape.” - Sapa