Zille not in touch with reality

2009-11-06 13:33

LEADER of the official opposition Democratic Alliance Helen Zille’s tendency to humiliate anyone who dares talk about racism in Western Cape is symptomatic of a leader completely removed from reality.

Responding to a report suggesting that Cape Town was a racist city (City Press, November 1), Premier Zille fired wildly in the direction of newspapers, researchers and political organisations but failed to deal with the substantive issues raised in the report: that the city was ­perceived as hostile to black people.

Instead of using the study as a weapon to fight racism, she chose to shoot the messenger.

The Western Cape premier, who cast herself as a progressive politician leading to the April national polls, suddenly questioned scientific methods used in research studies. It is strange that Zille, whose rise to the highest office in that province is largely attributed to her unbridled use of the race card, suddenly believes that race is no longer an ­issue in that divided province.

Surely she should have realised that her decision to pack her cabinet with white males did not only fly against efforts to undo past injustices, but gave private companies, particularly those led by “anti-change” managers, the license to vigorously entrench racism.

It is disturbing that Zille, who has never missed an opportunity to criticise the ANC-led government, used every excuse in the book to avoid speaking out against racism. In fact, one finds it equally puzzling that the DA leader, who on numerous occasions relied on researchers’ findings to call for criminal investigations against certain individuals, suddenly shows scant regard for ­research methodologies.

I say it is high time that she begin to concede that her party’s election campaign that sought to exploit Western Cape’s racial disharmony created a notion of invisibility in the mind of those bent on perpetuating the scourge of racism.

It is indeed regrettable that this country of ours has leaders like her.

Clive Ndou

Cape Town

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