The DA has sprung to Western Cape Premier Helen Zille’s defence after Public Protector Busisiwe Mkhwebane found she must face the music over her controversial tweet regarding the benefits of colonialism.
The DA has sprung to Western Cape Premier Helen Zille’s defence after Public Protector Busisiwe Mkhwebane found she must face the music over her controversial tweet regarding the benefits of colonialism.

Zille’s tweets: No clarity on action

By Tshego Lepule Time of article published Jun 20, 2018

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The Western Cape provincial legislature has three weeks to decide on appropriate action against Premier Helen Zille for her tweets on colonialism.

Public Protector Busisiwe Mkhwebane, who investigated a complaint from ANC provincial leader Khaya Magaxa on the tweets in question, instructed the speaker of the legislature, Sharna Fernandez, to table the matter before the house within 30 days for it to take appropriate action, as part of remedial action.

Last year while on an international trip, Zille tweeted: “For those claiming the legacy of colonialism was only negative, think of our independent judiciary, transport infrastructure, piped water, etc.”

In her report, Mkhwebane found that Zille had not acted in good faith nor in the best interest of good governance by making such statements and had not complied with what is expected from a person holding her office.

She found Zille to be in contravention of section 16(2)(b) of the constitution for tweets likely to stir violence based on race and that she also contravened section 10 of the bill of rights.

She sent her report to President Cyril Ramaphosa for consideration in respect of the code of ethics governing the conduct of members of the cabinet, deputy ministers and members of provincial executive councils.

But questions about whether Mkhwebane appropriately applied the correct law and Zille’s insistence on taking the matter on review could halt this process.

DA caucus chief whip Mark Wiley said: “The public protector must read the law and she will see that tabling something in the legislature has nothing to do with this sort of case.”

Even if the matter were handled by the legislature, analysts are not holding their breath for Zille’s removal.

Political analyst Zweli Ndevu said “I think it is correct that this issue must be handled in the house so there is consensus on how to handle it going forward.’’

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