News / Opinion / Columns

Sydney Majoko
3 minute read
29 Jan 2019
9:35 am

Now Helen Zille has crossed a line

Sydney Majoko

It is the height of arrogance that a sitting provincial premier can advocate lawlessness in the form of a tax revolt.

Helen Zille. (Photo by Gallo Images / Netwerk24 / Jaco Marais).

Helen Zille is at it again. Ever since she stepped aside from being the leader of the official opposition, she has sought ways and means of centring herself in national politics through the use of social media platform Twitter.

Not only has she chosen to express views that show South Africans a side of her that many never knew, she has brought her party much embarrassment by expressing views that the Democratic Alliance (DA) has found itself needing to water down in explaining them to potential voters.

Who can forget the suggestion that the globally detested phenomenon of colonialism had positive spin-offs for the colonised because it brought them piped water and tarred roads?

Her latest gem is a tweet suggesting a tax revolt if the ruling party is not removed through an election this year: “As I see it, this election is the last chance the voters have to vote against corruption. And it is clear – a vote for the ANC (even under Cyril) is a vote for corruption. If voters fail the democracy test again, it’s time for additional methods. #TaxRevolt.”

It is clear that Zille has found it much easier to abandon all pretence of being a liberal and a democrat by virtue of not being in charge of the DA anymore. It is inconceivable that the DA, which has always modelled itself on the protection of the values of the constitution, would support her call for illegal methods of opposition if she was still an office bearer.

Zille forgets that what divides South Africans the most is fear of each other. South Africans distrust each other so much that even though both sides of the divide want the same thing – a functional South Africa – none of them are willing to put aside their fear of the other to vote for common good in a single party.

The inequalities that see the one side envying the wealth of the other side and the fear of those that are currently advantaged because of historical reasons is the breeding ground of this fear. And uncouth politicians play on these fears to advocate for political methods that multiply that fear.

In the past, the fear playground used to be the sole preserve of politicians like Julius Malema as leader of the ANC’s Youth League. He used to play up the fears of those that currently possess land and property by promoting land occupation that is not in line with the country’s constitution. In fact, he’s currently in court for inciting what came to be known as land grabs.

By advocating a tax revolt, Zille has crossed the line of using methods acceptable in our constitutional framework to methods akin to land grabs. In her own narrow view of the end justifying the means, she forgets that those people advocating for illegal land grabs hold similar views: that the injustice they are suffering cannot be addressed through legal means.

Zille needs to be reined in just like Malema is being reigned in. Whether that happens through the legal system or through her party is something that still needs to be decided upon.

It is the height of arrogance that a sitting provincial premier can advocate lawlessness. Corruption is a cancer that is eating away at our collective soul and politicians worth their salt must work tirelessly to remove those doing the looting.

But we are not living in an anarchy. The rule of law must govern all we do.

Sydney Majoko.

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