Zille, Madonsela take up tea-time offer to discuss all things privilege

2019-05-27 18:14
Helen Zille Foto: Helen Zille

Helen Zille Foto: Helen Zille (Helen Zille)

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What initially began as a contentious exchange on Twitter between former Western Cape Premier Helen Zille and former Public Protector Thuli Madonsela over "privilege" will now be continued offline, over a cup of tea.

The pair have decided to make good on Zille's invitation to discuss her recent comments on black privilege.

The former premier started the day off on Monday with controversy yet again simmering, when parts of a column she wrote on Sunday were, in her opinion, "misunderstood" and "misrepresented" by journalist Bongani Bigwa.

READ: My biggest mistake - Helen Zille


Zille tweeted soon thereafter to clear the air.

READ: I never said it was a mistake to transform the DA - Helen Zille

Her and Madonsela seem to have struck a more cordial tone on Twitter in their latest bout of exchanges. 

Madonsela responded with a confirmation of their tea date. She added she hoped that they could agree on "mathematical principles". 

In the subsequent responses, Zille said she would be relying on some of her husband's expertise to prepare for their discussion.

Madonsela, no academic lightweight herself, responded that she hoped Zille's husband might be able to put together a mathematical model to calculate the "cumulative mess we find ourselves in".

Zille had upset many last week when she tweeted about black privilege.

"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," Twitter user Hlomla Dandala had tweeted to the premier.

"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," Zille tweeted in response.

Zille has since said her response was meant to highlight the double standards society employes when talking about white versus black privilege.

Madonsela, disagreed with this characterisation and tweeted as much, saying that equating white privilege to black privilege was "myopic". The two subsequently agreed to have tea together and have the discussion outside the confines of a 280 character limit.

News24 previously reported that DA leader Mmusi Maimane and chief whip John Steenhuisen said certain types of conduct on social media would not be tolerated.

In reference to his predecessor, Maimane said: "The appropriate steps have been taken in this regard. That the party will deal with it as a federal executive matter. I've certainly engaged her on this.

"What certainly cannot be happening is this view that we must be having this discussion on social media.

"No, we are a disciplined organisation."

Zille on Monday said she has yet to be contacted by the federal executive.

Read more on:    helen zille  |  thuli madonsela  |  politics

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