ANC outraged at Zille's refugee comment

Johannesburg - 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 site 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 Mthembu.

"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."

We live in a world where facts and fiction get blurred
In times of uncertainty you need journalism you can trust. For 14 free days, you can have access to a world of in-depth analyses, investigative journalism, top opinions and a range of features. Journalism strengthens democracy. Invest in the future today. Thereafter you will be billed R75 per month. You can cancel anytime and if you cancel within 14 days you won't be billed. 
Subscribe to News24
Voting Booth
Are you going to keep wearing a mask following the announcement that it is no longer required under law?
Please select an option Oops! Something went wrong, please try again later.
Results
No ways, I'm done
42% - 4433 votes
Yes, I still want to be cautious
21% - 2263 votes
Only certain circumstances
37% - 3965 votes
Vote
Rand - Dollar
16.02
-1.0%
Rand - Pound
19.56
-0.5%
Rand - Euro
16.88
-0.6%
Rand - Aus dollar
11.11
-1.2%
Rand - Yen
0.12
-0.4%
Gold
1,823.19
+0.0%
Silver
21.22
+0.3%
Palladium
1,886.50
+0.7%
Platinum
929.50
+2.0%
Brent Crude
115.09
+1.7%
Top 40
61,876
+0.6%
All Share
68,160
+0.5%
Resource 10
66,514
+1.6%
Industrial 25
80,404
+0.3%
Financial 15
15,380
-0.3%
All JSE data delayed by at least 15 minutes Iress logo
Editorial feedback and complaints

Contact the public editor with feedback for our journalists, complaints, queries or suggestions about articles on News24.

LEARN MORE