Western Cape Premier Helen Zille File picture: Ross Jansen/Independent Media
Western Cape Premier Helen Zille File picture: Ross Jansen/Independent Media

#HelenZille blasted for colonialism tweets

By Tshego Lepule Time of article published Mar 16, 2017

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Cape Town – Both the African National Congress and the Economic Freedom Fighters have called on the Democratic Alliance to recall Western Cape Premier Helen Zille following her tweets about colonialism.

This after Zille tweeted earlier on Thursday morning that not all aspects of colonialism were bad.

“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,” she 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 tweet was not in defence of colonialism.

I apologise unreservedly for a tweet that may have come across as a defence of colonialism. It was not.

— Helen Zille (@helenzille) March 16, 2017

But the EFF, in a series of tweets, rejected Zille’s apology, calling her remarks unconstitutional and anti-black.

“We call on the DA to remove Zille from premiership following these comments,” said the party.

“She has proven that she cannot be entrusted with public office in defence of our constitution. Her apology is meaningless, in essence the comments of colonialism represent her true views and the company she keeps. The DA must demonstrate its commitment to anti-racism by taking hard action and remove Zille from office.”

The @EFFSouthAfrica will be demanding urgent meeting with the @Our_DA to discuss @helenzille's racist statement...

— Julius Sello Malema (@Julius_S_Malema) March 16, 2017

The ANC in the Western Cape also issued a statement urging the DA to recall Zille. The party described Zille’s tweets as "reckless and ignorant claims".

“Helen Zille has continued to defend every racist that has captured the countries and we call on the DA to act decisively, particularly Mmusi Maimane, who up to this far has not shown an appetite to take on the white establishment,” read the statement.

The party’s provincial secretary, Faiez Jacobs says they will also instruct their members in the provincial legislature to put out a call for a vote of no confidence against Zille for her statements.

“We call upon DA members of the legislator to vote with us to remove her since she has insulted the majority of the electorate,” he says.

The DA’s National spokesperson, Phumzile van Damme says Maimane has referred Zille to the party’s Federal Legal Commission for investigation following Thursday morning’s tweets.

Van Damme says the posts may have violated the party’s social media policy.

“Colonialism, like Apartheid, was wrong. It oppressed millions of people and violated human rights in a cruel and inhumane way,” she said.

Earlier Maimane also posted a tweet speaking out against the defence of colonialism.

“Let’s make this clear: Colonialism like Apartheid, was a system of oppression and subjugation. I can never be justified,” he tweeted.

Political Bureau

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