Political parties to debate Zille's 'colonialism' tweets

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DA leader Helen Zille. (File, Netwerk24)
DA leader Helen Zille. (File, Netwerk24)

Cape Town – Political parties will try and show the “true legacy” of colonialism when the Western Cape provincial legislature debate Helen Zille’s recent tweets on Tuesday.

Western Cape Premier Zille came under fire recently when she tweeted that colonialism was not all bad.

“Getting on to an aeroplane now and won’t get on to the wi-fi so that I can cut off those who think every aspect of colonial legacy was bad,” she tweeted, before later apologising.

Now, political parties will on Tuesday have a snap debate in the provincial legislature on Zille’s series of tweets, after a request from the ANC was approved on the matter.

The EFF’s Bernard Joseph said the party wanted Zille to step down, and that was also the position of the national office.

“We can’t have a situation where we have a premier supportive of colonialism,” he said.

Previous comments

They would look at the various comments made by Zille leading up to the latest tweets, he said, including when she had referred to Eastern Cape people moving to the Western Cape as refugees.

These were usually swept under the carpet, he said.

Joseph said Zille was bordering on being racist.

The ANC’s Khaya Magaxa, who requested the debate, said they were going to aim for making people understand what colonialism was and its effect.

“It does not help releasing statements. This is a platform to not just explain our understanding but also expose our position,” Magaxa said.

Nothing good came from colonialism, he said, and they would get that across.

It would only be beneficiaries of colonialism who would see anything positive from it, he said.

“Our African people are still suffering from the effects of colonialism,” he said.

The ANC’s provincial secretary Faiez Jacobs said the province was ready for a new leader.

“The ANC hopes that this debate will also be an opportunity not only to expose Zille's miseducation about black people during the colonial era but to show her how ignorant, dangerous and false her misguided claims are.”

DA chief whip Mark Wiley said the debate would be led by Debbie Schafer and Masizole Mnqasela.

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