Zille had tweeted: "Getting onto an aeroplane now and won’t get onto the Wi-Fi so that I can cut off those who think EVERY aspect of colonial legacy was bad.
"For those claiming legacy of colonialism was only negative, think of our independent judiciary, transport infrastructure, piped water etc," she wrote. Zille quickly issued an unreserved apology for her tweet, saying: "I apologise unreservedly for a tweet that may have come across as a defence of colonialism. It was not."
However, there were immediate calls for her head from the African National Congress and the likes of the Congress of South African Trade Unions who called her a "colonial apologist" Maimane explained that the tweets may have violated the DA's social media policy for public representatives and therefore, had to be referred to the DA's disciplinary committee.
DA national spokesperson, Phumzile Van Damme, said in a statement: "Colonialism, like Apartheid, was wrong. It oppressed millions of people and violated human rights in a cruel and inhumane way."
Maimane said: "We received a number of complaints and I find [Zille's tweet] indefensible."
"The DA is party that is committed to redressing the wrongs of the past. We want to build a united South Africa – one nation, with one future," added Van Damme.