FORMER South African main
opposition leader Helen Zille will
face a disciplinary process by her
Democratic Alliance (DA) party
after saying on Twitter on Thursday
that the legacy of colonialism was
not all negative.
The incident caused a public
outcry, with critics saying Zille’s
comments risked fanning the racial
tensions that endure more than two
decades after the end of apartheid
rule. The ruling ANC denounced
her words as reckless.
“For those claiming legacy of
colonialism was ONLY negative,
think of our independent judiciary,
transport infrastructure, piped
water etc,” Zille, a white South
African, said on Twitter.
“Would we have had a transition
into specialized health care and
medication without colonial
influence? Just be honest, please,”
she said in a later tweet.
South Africa was colonized
by the Dutch and the British for
about 300 years. The country then
experienced white minority rule
under apartheid.
Mille, who is the premier of
the Western Cape province, has
apologized but her party leader
condemned her comments.
“She should face a disciplinary
process in the party,” Mmusi
Maimane told 702 Talk Radio.
“Her actions, her statement was
completely unacceptable and
indefensible,” Maimane added.
Maimane, who took the reins as
the DA’s first black national leader in
2015, last year led the party to strong
gains in a local election, taking the
capital Pretoria and commercial
hub Johannesburg from the ruling
African National Congress (ANC).
The DA has a strong following
among white South Africans.
The ANC urged Maimane and
his party to remove Mille from her
position immediately over “her
reckless and ignorant claims” on
colonialism.
The DA last year revoked the
membership of Penny Sparrow
after a Facebook post in which
she referred to black people as
“monkeys” went viral. A court
later ordered Sparrow to pay
150,000 rand ($11,780) to charity
after she was found guilty of hate
speech.
Standard Bank economist Chris
Hart resigned last year after he
tweeted in January that black
people had “a sense of entitlement
and hatred towards minorities”.
White senior judge Mabel
Jansen was publicly criticised
over racist comments about black
culture and rape.


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