Daniel Friedman
3 minute read
13 Aug 2018
1:14 pm

DA in a mess as Mashaba tweets Trump support, Zille repeats colonialism views

Daniel Friedman

A tweet claiming Trump has been a better leader than Ramaphosa caused controversy. Zille added fuel to the fire with a repetition of her views on colonialism.

Executive Mayor Herman Mashaba speaks at City of Joburg New Council Chamber,7 November 2017 , with MMC for Environment and Infrastructure Services, Cllr Nico de Jager and MMC for Transport, Cllr Nonhlanhla Makhuba and City stakeholders on key City infrastructure which is on the brink of collapse and the solutions which the City will be implemented to arrest the decline. Picture: Nigel Sibanda

The Democratic Alliance found itself at the centre of yet another social media storm on Monday over Helen Zille’s view on colonialism, this time sparked by a now-deleted tweet by Johannesburg Mayor Herman Mashaba that Twitter users slammed for showing support for widely reviled US President Donald Trump.

Picture: Screenshot.

The tweet compared Trump favourably with President Cyril Ramaphosa, citing Trump’s leadership so far as a success and Ramaphosa’s as a failure.

Many Twitter users expressed their distaste for the deleted tweet.

Mashaba, however, claimed the deleted tweet had “nothing to do with Trump”.

Making matters worse, Western Cape Premier Helen Zille chimed in once again with her controversial views on colonialism.

Zille tweeted similar sentiments to the initial tweet that caused such an outcry. “Do you genuinely believe the legacy of colonialism was ONLY negative?” she asked.

Zille recently said she believed the outcry to her initial tweet was caused mainly by “bots and trolls”.

“The ANC’s disingenuous campaign has been based on bots and trolls aiming to divide they know if they turn white people into the enemy, they will win elections. Former president Nelson Mandela also talked about the legacy of colonialism,” said Zille in June.

The DA made public their desire to attract black voters and end the belief that they are a white party, with leader Mmusi Maimane in particular expressing his desire to counter this perception.

However, recent comments he made about white privilege were met with a backlash from certain elements in the DA’s leadership.

READ MORE: Ditching BEE will cost DA, says analyst

The DA’s abandonment of BEE as policy last week and handling of the De Lille matter, which some believe is evidence of the party’s inability to support strong, black women as leaders, have further been seen as evidence by some analysts that the DA’s attempts to counter their reputation as a party supporting white interests will be an uphill battle.

This perception began after Lindiwe Mazibuko, at the time the party’s leader in parliament and seen as a possible future DA leader, left the party under contentious circumstances.

“She did it to me, and she’s doing it again,” Mazibuko said of Zille recently in a speech at the Marie Claire Power Summit as a picture of Zille sitting next to Maimane appeared on a screen above her.

At the beginning of August, Mazibuko expressed support for De Lille, saying she “smelled a rat” regarding the allegations against the Cape Town mayor, who has now agreed to step down from her position at the end of October.

“I would like to know what the Patricia de Lille issue is,” she said at the time.

“If someone can explain it to me in simple English, perhaps I can offer a fulsome opinion.”

For more news your way, download The Citizen’s app for iOS and Android.