Afrikaner-rights activist Steve Hofmeyr has challenged the leadership of the Democratic Alliance (DA) not to take any action against Western Cape Premier Helen Zille until her viewpoint on colonialism is proved wrong.
Helen Zille, the controversial premier of the republic’s Western Cape province and a former leader of South Africa’s Democratic Alliance (DA), had tweeted on Thursday that “for those claiming the legacy of colonialism was ONLY negative, think of our independent judiciary, transport infrastructure, piped water, etc.”
She later asked “Would we have had a transition into specialized health care and medication without colonial influence? Just be honest, please.”
Zille also expressed gratitude that she was boarding an airplane, where there won’t be an internet connection, else she could have “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.
— Helen Zille (@helenzille) March 16, 2017
Would we have had a transition into specialised health care and medication without colonial influence? Just be honest, please.
— Helen Zille (@helenzille) March 16, 2017
Hofmeyr, who once claimed that “blacks were the architects of Apartheid”, dared all those who slammed Zille for her remarks to prove her wrong before trampling and throwing her to the dogs.
He wrote: “Could someone, ANYONE, prove @helenzille wrong before crucifying, trampling and feeding her to the dogs?. Dear Lord. Please don’t make us wait 20 years for the end of political correctness just because we’re South African.”
Hofmeyr was responding to DA leader Mmusi Maimane’s announcement on Thursday that Zille is being investigated by the DA.
Maimane, who is the party’s first black leader told talk radio 702 that Zille would face a disciplinary process. He stated that “colonialism, like apartheid, was a system of oppression and subjugation” that “can never be justified.”
Chairman of the DA’s federal council‚ James Selfe‚ said the DA had referred Zille’s tweet to the federal legal commission to “establish whether it has transgressed the DA’s social media policy and if there can be disciplinary measures towards her.”
Zille is known for her provocative tweets which have often raised the ire of many black South Africans on Twitter. Shortly after the two tweets, Zille apologized for her view.
“I apologize unreservedly for a tweet that may have come across as a defense of colonialism. It was not‚” she tweeted
There is no gainsaying the fact that Zille’s tweet marks the latest in a series of missteps by the DA which has been attempting to connect with black South Africans, who constitute 80% of the population.
The DA, which won 22 percent of the vote in 2014’s general election, has been gaining popularity and trying to shed its image as a “white” party before the next general election.
Maimane has been persuading black South Africans to abandon the ruling party for the DA -which is largely made up of white South Africans.
The DA capitalized on charges of corruption that have plagued the ANC under president Jacob Zuma to wrest control of local governments in the cities of Johannesburg, Pretoria and Nelson Mandela Bay in the last municipal elections.
Regardless of that, South Africans still consider Maimane a puppet in the hands of his white colonial masters and mistresses.
Meanwhile, Acting DA Western Cape leader Bonginkosi Madikizela has expressed fear that Zille’s tweet could lead to a decline in support and vote for the blue party.
“Without a doubt, these comments have a negative impact on the people we [the DA] are trying to attract who are black people. There is no way we can defend it. Of course, it has offended people who were oppressed by colonialism. It will make our work a bit difficult,” he said.
On Thursday the EFF and ANC called on the DA to immediately recall Western Cape premier Helen Zille, 66, following her controversial comments which she seemed to extol colonialism.
ANC Western Cape spokesperson Yonela Diko said: “Helen Zille has continued to defend every racist … and we call on the DA to act decisively … The ANC Western Cape calls on the DA to recall Helen Zille for her reckless and ignorant claims….”
In a statement on Thursday, the EFF said it rejected Zille’s apology.
The party said: “The EFF rejects the Premier of Western Cape, Helen Zille’s apology following her unconstitutional, racist and anti-black remarks on social media.
We call on the DA to remove Zille from premiership following these comments as they demonstrate that she has no appreciation for our democratic dispensation. She has proven that she cannot be entrusted with public office, in defense of our Constitution.”
The Dutch and British colonized South Africa for about 300 years. The country then experienced white minority rule under apartheid, which ended in 1994.