DA caucus about Zille tweets 'tense and emotional'

2017-03-24 08:06
Helen Zille. (File, Schalk van Zuydam, AP)

Helen Zille. (File, Schalk van Zuydam, AP)

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WATCH: Helen Zille's history of Twitter upsets

2017-03-17 21:56

Helen Zille has faced a backlash from Twitter users following her latest posts which appeared to argue for, in her opinion, the positive aspects of colonialism. This is not the first time the Western Cape Premier has been controversial on social media. Watch. WATCH

Cape Town - Western Cape Premier Helen Zille’s tweets on colonialism were in the spotlight for more than four hours on Thursday during a “tense and emotional” DA caucus meeting.

Zille addressed the 30-odd strong members at her own request, and the “robust and open” discussions which followed were apparently “tense” at times, Netwerk24 reported. 

Her political career is in the balance because of her tweets that not all aspects of colonialism were bad.

The DA distanced itself from the tweets and immediately ordered an inquiry. Zille apologised. 

Members of political parties are not supposed to discuss what is said in caucus, because it is confidential.

However, one source told Netwerk24 that the meeting had been necessary and the DA MPs were very outspoken. “Everyone took part. It was an open, honest  and robust discussion which, at times, was characterised by raw emotion. 

“It was a serious meeting in which members emphasised the dangers of social media, as well as the impact the Zille tweets had on the DA because of the perceptions it created. People are concerned about what the fall-out will be for the party”

'We know Helen isn't a racist'

Another source described the meeting as “tense, emotional and sad”. One Member of the Provincial Parliament was apparently in tears.

“People could air their opinions openly and say how they felt. We are sad because we know Helen isn’t a racist. We do, however, know that there are people with other agendas.”

Zille was “calm and open for the criticism which came her way”, the source said. At the end, there was no bad blood.

Neither Zille, not her spokesperson, Michel Mpofu answered their cellphones on Thursday.

The chair of the DA’s legal commission, Advocate Glynnis Breytenbach, will be holding talks with Zille on Friday, after which she will make recommendations to the DA federal council about whether disciplinary action should be taken and what the charges should be.

Read more on:    da  |  helen zille  |  cape town  |  politics

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