Helen Zille Faces DA Legal Commission Over Controversial Colonialism Tweet


The Democratic Alliance (DA) confirmed that Western Cape Premier Helen Zille will appear before the DA legal commission on Saturday to answer for her controversial tweets on colonialism.

Earlier this week, DA leader Mmusi Maimane disclosed that the party had referred her tweets to the Federal Legal Commission, as they may have violated the party’s social media policy for the public representatives.

Read also: Zille’s Colonialism Tweet: Afrikaner-Rights Activist Hofmeyr Makes Shocking Reaction

Zille had earlier met the chairperson of the party’s federal legal commission Advocate Glynnis Breytenbach last Saturday where concerns about her tweets were raised.

As Zille appears before the commission today, Breytenbach said the outcome of the preliminary investigation process will determine the next step to be taken.

Weighing in, DA federal executive chairperson James Selfe express confidence that the legal commission will deal with the matter without fear or favour.

“On the basis of the evidence before them and her representations, they will write a report which will serve the federal executive. This report will say whether they believe that this does or does not constitute misconduct,” he said.

The Western Cape premier came under fire for her recent tweets – on March 15 – in which she asked that if colonialism had not taken place, would there have been progressiveness in the country.

Not long after, she apologized for the tweets, claiming that she never defended colonialism, as widely perceived.

Zile has always been in the news for her controversial social media utterances on racism, colonialism and so on.

In 2016, she sparked outrage for her tweet which related to racial classification at restaurants.

In the tweet, which has since been deleted, she said: “Why is it OK to racially classify ppl for jobs but not to identify ppl at a table by their race?”

Zille’s tweets have put Maimane in a very tight corner and he faces the challenge of sanctioning the premier, who was a key ally in his rise to power.

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.

Acting DA Western Cape leader Bonginkosi Madikizela had 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.

Maimane also slammed the premier Publicly for her colonialism tweet, saying the party found no sense in her tweets.

Not only the EFF and ANC, well-meaning individuals and organizations have called on the DA to immediately recall Western Cape premier Helen Zille, 66, following her controversial comments which she seemed to extol colonialism.

The Dutch and British colonized South Africa for about 300 years. The country then experienced white minority rule under apartheid, which ended in 1994.

Check out: Zille’s Colonialism Tweets: Mmusi Maimane Vows To Grill “His Madam”

One open question that lurks in the mind of South Africans is whether Zille will survive the battle this time. Many believe, in some ways, that she doesn’t deserve to survive it. But if that surely happens, then it would be a very remarkable sad end to her political career.