South African author and columnist Max du Preez says the only honorable thing Western Cape Premier Helen Zille will do now is to resign from her political positions.
Preez explained that it wouldn’t be ideal for Zille to wait for disciplinary action against her since she has already ruined the image of the Democratic Alliance with her colonialism tweets.
The writer stressed that the only worse option would be for Zille to fight back, mobilize white supporters around her and then get blamed for undermining her party’s possibilities to grow.
He said if the DA fails to suspend or fire the controversial premier, South Africans will continue to see the blue block as a camp of white politicians and its black leaders as puppets.
More so, the seasoned columnist believes if the DA retains Zille, a division might creep into the party which has been struggling to convince black people and earn their voter support.
Preez lamented that the premier has often been caught in the web of controversial issues like racism and inflammatory opinions/views that tend to incite a public outcry.
He wrote further: “The wording of her tweets was so thoughtless that one can hardly believe she’s a seasoned, sophisticated politician.
She started off well with her series of tweets by stating that we could learn lessons from Singapore, a country that had also been colonized and is now thriving.
But I couldn’t believe my eyes when I saw Zille descend to the level where she mentioned piped water and transport infrastructure as examples of the positives of colonialism.
How did Zille think black South Africans, and black DA supporters, were going to react to that?”
A disappointed Preez said he wasn’t surprised to see “racial fundamentalists like Steve Hofmeyr and AfriForum’s Kallie Kriel” jump to her defence after her tweet went viral.
“Any sensible discussion on colonialism should at least make mention of the fact that foreign occupation seriously interrupted the natural development of occupied societies; that indigenous knowledge systems got destroyed; that societies only develop technologies their circumstances demand their survival.
Zille should visit countries like Ethiopia, where powerful and technologically advanced kingdoms arose from the 8th century onwards. They developed technologies like their own script, complex architecture and irrigation systems because they needed them,” Preez added.
Concluding his strong-worded article, the writer once again asked Zille to resign from politics in order to save herself and her party.
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 last 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.”
The premier 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.
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.
Meanwhile, the Western Cape legislature is considering holding a public debate on Zille’s tweet. The speaker of the Western Cape legislature‚ Sharna Fernandez‚ said she would make the decision after meeting her senior team on Wednesday.
The DA is reportedly investigating her with a view to an internal disciplinary process.