Prominent businesswoman Wendy Luhabe, the wife of former Gauteng premier and Cope founder Mbhazima Shilowa, has been slammed for a tweet in which she appears to express her view that conditions under apartheid were favourable to under democracy.
“I grew up and started my career under apartheid and we had a much better work ethic, we were responsible for our lives understandably … these attributes have been replaced by a culture of entitlement and dependency since we became a democracy,” Luhabe tweeted.
I grew up and started my career under Apartheid and we had a much better work ethic,we were responsible for our lives understandably…these attributes have been replaced by a culture of Entitlement and dependency since we became a Democracy.
— Wendy Luhabe (@WendyLuhabe) September 19, 2018
Many found the tweet offensive, with some calling Luhabe a “BEE elite” who was one of a few who benefited from the government’s empowerment policies.
Journalist and TV and radio personality Tim Modise was slammed by one Twitter user as similarly being among “BEE beneficiaries” after a tweet he put out was considered by some to be similar to Luhabe’s.
Modise tweeted: “The victimhood mentality pervading our society has shackled the agency that should come with freedom. The evidence of dependency syndrome and opportunism, incompetence, and corruption are visible. Future generations will pay the price for our irresponsibility.”
When you say you look up to Wendy Luhabe, what are you looking up to exactly? That she's a BEE elite? Because the likes of Wendy have never started or run any businesses, they can't even run a tuck shop
— Mzukulu ka S'jingi (@Mtamerri) September 20, 2018
You seem to hold the same view as Wendy Luhabe – BEE beneficiaries. Do introspection about your success you discover that your connections made you. In the current situation unconnected poor people won't have breakthroughs as yours. https://t.co/49DdwdZkUG
— Swifi La Boroka (@SwifiB) September 20, 2018
A number of users on Twitter have compared Luhabe’s views to Western Cape premier Helen Zille’s tweets on colonialism.
Wendy Luhabe and Helen Zille pic.twitter.com/TzpX3lv9qP
— Zikhona ✨ (@ZickySloan) September 20, 2018
For me Wendy Luhabe’s tweet is no different from Hellen Zille’s ‘colonialism was better tweets’.
— Zingisa Mase (@ZingiMase) September 20, 2018
Wendy Luhabe and Helen Zille same whatsapp group
— KG (@kgaoza4life) September 20, 2018
Zille tweeted last year: “For those claiming that the legacy of colonialism was only negative, they should look at various aspects of South Africa’s development, such as the judiciary and other infrastructure.”
Her tweets were met with a heavy backlash leading to Zille facing disciplinary action from her own party.
The DA’s federal council ruled that while she would continue her duties as Western Cape premier, she would not be allowed to participate in party matters.