ANC charges Zille with inciting violence

2012-11-22 00:00

WESTERN Cape Premier Helen Zille’s social media woes grew yesterday when she had an incitement charge laid against her following a statement she made on Twitter.

The charge, laid by the ANC in the Western Cape, was followed by a proposal of a vote of no confidence.

ANC Western Cape secretary Songezo Mjongile said that a charge of incitement was lodged at the Cape Town Central Police Station against Zille.

“Helen Zille must face the full might of the law,” he said.

Mjongile told The Witness that the charge was related to a tweet Zille made last week that a farmer had reportedly been killed in the farm unrest in the Western Cape.

“It is unacceptable for the premier of a province to be a spokesperson of the farmers when instead she should be playing a mediatory role,” Mjongile said.

At 1 pm on Wednesday last week, Zille tweeted to her 204 268 followers: “Reports coming that a farmer has died after being assaulted in Wellington. Grave risk of retaliation. Zuma must bring in SANDF.”

After the alleged incident could not be verified by police and Western Cape disaster management, Zille tweeted again two-and-a-half hours later, saying she was trying to find the source of the report.

According to Landbou Weekblad’s Facebook page, Agri-Wes Cape said reports of the “murder” were untrue.

Zille’s spokesperson, Zak Mbhele, said that her tweets were based on facts and the ANC was welcome to bring a motion of no confidence against her.

“The provincial parliament will debate it at the first opportunity.”

Zille was the latest high profile individual to land themselves in hot water following a tweet.

Highveld Stereo DJ Anele Mdoda was involved in a spat on the microblogging website with the DA’s shadow minister for police Dianne Kohler Barnard.

Hawks spokesperson McIntosh Polela and eNCA journalist Lance Witten were suspended from their jobs after tweets they made were deemed to be inappropriate. Witten has since returned to work. Zille herself is no stranger to Twitter controversy after receiving flack for referring to Eastern Cape pupils studying in the Western Cape as “education refugees”.

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