Helen Zille sparks Twitter ire again with 'black privilege' comments

2019-05-17 13:17

Outgoing premier of the Western Cape and one of SA Twitter's foremost polemicists, Helen Zille, is at it again, causing a stir on the social media site for her most recent comments about "black privilege".

Zille was replying to a viral video of an American poet ruminating the topic of "white privilege" on the social media platform, which has since drawn ire from media personalities and former Public Protector Thuli Madonsela.

The video starts off with the speaker saying: "We learned your French, we learned your English, we learned your Spanish, we learned your Dutch, your Portuguese, your German, you learned our nothing and you called us stupid."

Zille replied to the tweet: "Why is she saying this stuff in English?"

That set off a chain of events with everyone, from PowerFM talkshow host Aldrin Sampear to Madonsela, responding to the former DA leader.

It was, however, her response to actor Hlomla Dandala that really turned up the heat.

Dandala was responding to a Twitter user who posted: "Suits are associated with colonial influence no? How about all the other privileged colonial stuff we take for granted, the car, the suit, the cellphone, iPad, bank account, internet, mansion in the burbs, where would you like to draw the line?"

Dandala said: "You clearly don't understand white privilege. We had plenty technology here that was eroded/annihilated by colonialism. You did us zero favours by colonising us."

Zille responded: "Well, you clearly don't understand black privilege. It is being able to loot a country and steal hundreds of billions and get re-elected. If ppl want permanent poverty for the masses they are going about it the right way. #BlackPrivilege." It set off a chain of events. 

Investigative journalist, Sam Sole, entered the fray saying: "Helen lost it quite some time ago."

Other users lobbed accusations of racism at Zille, which she denounced. 

Former spokesperson for the ANC in Parliament, Moloto Mothapo, added his piece. 

Others had suggestions for Zille. 

It was Madonsela who took to Twitter to act as a voice of calm and reason, saying that equating white privilege to black privilege was "myopic". 

This isn't the first time the outgoing premier's views on Twitter have brought her into disrepute.

In 2017, she infamously articulated a view that the legacy of colonialism was not wholly negative.

The DA set up a disciplinary process for its former leader, which later fell away after she agreed to step down from party activities and apologise for the tweets.

Read more on:    twitter  |  helen zille  |  social media

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