DA Federal Council chairperson Helen Zille Picture: Tracey Adams/African News Agency (ANA)
DA Federal Council chairperson Helen Zille Picture: Tracey Adams/African News Agency (ANA)

Helen Zille faces backlash on social media over #BlackLivesMatter comments

By Nicola Daniels Time of article published Apr 13, 2021

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Cape Town – Using brutal attacks in northern Mozambique to discredit the #BlackLivesMatter movement in a Facebook post, Helen Zille’s statements have been labelled as being “in poor taste” and “grandstanding white privilege”.

In the post, Zille wrote: “I have been sent some videos of the ISIS-linked insurgent attacks in Cabo Delgado, in Northern Mozambique. They are so totally and utterly gruesome, that I can honestly say I have never seen anything so horrific before...

’’Now here is a dead serious question: Where is #BlackLivesMatter? Or do they only deal with deaths that they can make political capital out of, in decrying ’whiteness’? #BlackLivesMatter is too busy scouring the internet looking for unintentional micro aggressions than actually trying to stop the most brutal violence committed against black people ... ”

The post caused a stir, receiving thousands of comments and shares.

ANC deputy chief whip in the provincial legislature Muhammad Khalid Sayed said what was happening in Mozambique was an example that black lives do indeed matter.

“Instead of highlighting this as truly a case that #BlackLivesMatter, Helen Zille grandstands again in defence of white privilege. Black lives do matter, that’s why the SADC troika met last week, in Mozambique, to discuss this serious issue. Black lives do matter, that’s why attention is being paid by our government leaders. Zille should stop being sensationalist and grandstanding.”

Meanwhile the ACDP raised its concerns, condemning what it likened to a “developing genocide“.

“The ACDP raises its condemnation for the brutal and murderous attacks, which have taken place in Palma, in the Northern Mozambican province of Caba Delgado.

’’More than 750 000 Mozambicans have been displaced and thousands killed since the insurgency began a few years ago. Recently, a South African citizen was killed, allegedly, by the Islamist extremist group, AL Shabaab,” ACDP president Reverend Kenneth Meshoe said.

“This is intolerable and must not be allowed to continue. The ACDP calls on the South African government to beef up its security along our borders with Mozambique. Both South Africa and Mozambique must find ways of mutual cooperation in dealing with this scourge of religious extremism.”


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