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Western Cape MPLs to debate Zille's pro-colonialism tweets

Politics
Cape Town - A date for a debate into tweets extolling the “positive” aspects of colonialism by Western Cape Premier Helen Zille has been set for the provincial legislative assembly next week.

This after the Speaker of the House, Sharna Fernandez, approved a request by the ANC for an urgent debate on the matter.

Zille’s comments on colonialism were widely criticised on social media last week.

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Western Cape Premier Helen Zille.

“Getting on to an aeroplane now and won’t get on to the wi-fi so that I can cut off those who think every aspect of colonial legacy was bad,” she had tweeted.

“For those claiming legacy of colonialism was only negative, think of our independent judiciary, transport infrastructure, piped water etc.”

Zille later apologised, following an uproar on Twitter, saying her tweets were not in defence of colonialism.

On Monday, leader of the ANC in the Western Cape legislature, Khaya Magaxa, wrote to Fernandez requesting an urgent debate into the matter.

And yesterday Fernandez's office confirmed the debate would take place on Tuesday next week, taking precedence over other matters scheduled for the day.

“The WCPP’s standing rules provide for the Speaker to consider requests for debates on matters of public importance.

"The Speaker deemed this request to be of sufficient public importance to warrant a debate over and above the normal parliamentary programme,” it said.

Magaxa said the ANC welcomed the decision, adding the party still believed Zille was no longer fit to hold office.

“The DA seems to be comfortable that its immediate past leader Zille regularly targets people of colour in her assaults.

"She clearly has a race problem and is an utter bigot,” he said.

“This outburst took place during our national anti-racism week and ahead of Human Rights Day celebrations.

"She in public played the race card against her own party. This must be debated in the legislature.

“There is clearly no remedy or rehabilitation for Zille. She thinks an apology renders all forgiven and gone.

"Zille frequently brings such disrepute on to her, her office, her party, the province and our country,” Magaxa said.

Meanwhile, Zille will on Saturday be interviewed by the legal structures of the DA’s federal executive as a first step towards determining if she should face disciplinary charges for her controversial remarks on colonialism.

“They will then decide whether there is evidence or not to support a disciplinary charge,” said the chairman of the party’s federal executive, James Selfe

The federal executive would receive a report on the meeting and then decide whether or not to refer the case to a disciplinary panel, he said.

DA leader Mmusi Maimane instituted a complaint after a storm broke over Zille’s head last week over the tweets. - Additional reporting by ANA

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