ANC outraged at Zille's refugee comment

By Drum Digital
21 March 2012

The ANC on Wednesday bemoaned opposition leader Helen Zille's comment in which she referred to Eastern Cape pupils who flocked to the Western Cape for a better education as refugees.

"The ANC is vindicated by the statement made by Helen Zille," said African National Congress spokesman Jackson Mthembu.

"This is typical of the erstwhile apartheid government's mentality that resorted to influx control measures to restrict black people from the so-called white areas."

Mthembu said the statement was "racist" and must not must not be tolerated.

The DA leader sparked a war on social networking sight Twitter on Tuesday as many users were angered by her use of the word "refugee".

However, Zille remained firm and defended herself throughout the day.

Her statement was in reference to a protest in Grabouw over overcrowding at a local school.

The DA shifted the blame to the department of public works' continuous delays in approving alternative land to build additional school buildings in the area.

"Zille's racist statement underpins the DA's policy of exclusionism of blacks," said Jackson.

"She will never say the same thing about whites who relocate from one area of the country to the Western Cape or even those who relocate from other countries to the Western Cape.

"To reduce South Africans who have free movement in their own country as refugees is tantamount to instigating against them by labelling them with a tag associated with foreigners," Mthembu said.

Asked by a Twitter user on Tuesday to define a refugee, Zille responded: "Refugees are ppl who have to escape because their rights are violated. That describes E Cape pupils exactly."

Mthembu said the DA viewed blacks as useful voters to win elections and nothing else.

"We call on all black DA members to see the DA for what it is, a white racist party," he said.

"We also call on all those blacks who are in leadership structures of the DA for window dressing purposes to resign from the DA and not be used unduly."

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