Zille must be recalled as premier - EFF, ANC

2017-03-16 15:58
Helen Zille. (File, Beeld)

Helen Zille. (File, Beeld)

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Cape Town - The EFF and ANC have called on the DA to recall Western Cape Premier Helen Zille, following tweets in which she defended certain aspects of colonialism.

The EFF rejected her apology, calling it meaningless. The ANC in the Western Cape urged the DA to recall Zille "for her reckless and ignorant claims".

Zille tweeted on Thursday: "For those claiming legacy of colonialism was only negative, think of our independent judiciary, transport infrastructure, piped water etc."

"Getting onto an aeroplane now and won't get onto the Wi-Fi so that I can cut off those who think EVERY aspect of colonial legacy was bad," she wrote.

The former DA leader later apologised and said it was not intended as a defence of colonialism.

Also read: Helen Zille does quick about-turn on 'colonialism' defence

EFF spokesperson Mbuyiseni Ndlozi said Zille was apologising, not because she thought her idea that aspects of colonialism were not bad was wrong, but because this view may hurt others.

"We call on the DA to remove Zille from premiership following these comments as they demonstrate that she has no appreciation for our democratic dispensation. No one, from a public office of our hard won constitutional democratic state must be allowed to freely express such cold-hearted racism."

The Western Cape ANC said black history and its contribution had been a "hard pill to swallow" for Zille.

"Helen Zille's version of history, and her place in it, has always been circumspect because it has never corresponded to what we know of her," the party said in a statement.

"While in recent years there has been some self-acknowledgement that ignorance of black history and black people is no excuse to make loose and reckless statements, realising black history and its monumental contrition has been a hard pill to swallow for most white illiberals like Zille."

'Colonial apologist'

National ANC spokesperson Zizi Kodwa said Zille’s tweet was "nothing short of the type of posture you would expect from a colonial apologist".

"It is deeply saddening and troubling that we still have in our midst leaders who, on the one side swear by the very Constitution of the Republic of South Africa, yet on the other still harbour such deep seated views that venerate in whatever degree the unjust system of exploitation, subjugation and oppression as colonialism was and continues to be," he said.

"If the DA is truly committed to building a non-racial, non-sexist and equal society and it if is honest about acknowledging colonialism and apartheid systems for what they are, a crime against humanity, then nothing short of recalling Helen Zille will send a more stronger message that there is no place in democratic South Africa for leaders that are apologists for such cruel and unjust systems whose long-term effect continue to hold our people back to this day."

National DA spokesperson Phumzile van Damme distanced herself from Zille’s tweet.

"Colonialism, like apartheid, was wrong. It oppressed millions of people and violated human rights in a cruel and inhumane way," she said.

DA leader Mmusi Maimane said Zille had been referred to the party’s federal commission for possibly violating the party's social media policy.

Read more on:    da  |  anc  |  eff  |  helen zille  |  politics  |  racism  |  social media

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