Johannesburg - DA leader Mmusi Maimane says he does not support Helen Zille's views on the Life Esidimeni tragedy.
Helen Zille caused a Twitter storm earlier this week when she insinuated in a tweet that the families of the Life Esidimeni victims may have not done enough to raise alarm about their relatives' conditions at illegal NGOs.
Zille tweeted: "It is good that the families of the Life Esidimeni victims have received a measure of justice and compensation. I would like an answer to this question: What did they do, before these tragic deaths, to raise the alarm about their loved one’s starving + living in profound neglect?"
A number of people raised concern about Zille's tweet saying it was insensitive to the families of the Life Esidimeni victims.
It is good that the families of the Life Esidimeni victims have received a measure of justice and compensation. I would like an answer to this question: What did they do, before these tragic deaths, to raise the alarm about their loved ones starving + living in profound neglect?— Helen Zille (@helenzille) March 20, 2018
One NGO has even promised to report Zille to the Human Rights Commission.
Maimane said people should be empathetic to victims of mental illness and realise the impact it has on families.
"The families of those who were left behind understood the pain they went through, and when you surrender yourself to a mental health institution often you find that those families are left powerless. So, I stand with the families and say they should be supported,” he said.
“Our people have gone through great tragedy and gone through difficult times and I think we must all acknowledge and be empathetic towards that and recognise the pain that goes with it.”
This is not the first time that Zille has used Twitter to cause controversy. Last year she upset a number of people after published a series of tweets that showed a positive aspect of colonialism.
She even faced an internal disciplinary hearing and was banned from party activity.
Similar calls have been made this time around for Zille to face a disciplinary hearing for her tweets on Life Esidimeni.