BLF takes Helen Zille to SAHRC over colonialism tweets

The premier's office meanwhile, refuted rumours of Zille's impending resignation.


Rumours that Western Cape Premier Helen Zille would resign amid much controversy over her tweets were “false”, her spokesperson Michael Mpofu said on Monday.

This was after weekend reports that Democratic Alliance party leader Mmusi Maimane wanted Zille to go after a tweet she sent almost two weeks ago.

But the premier’s fate hinges on the decision of the DA’s federal executive, which is due to meet this weekend.

Federal executive chair James Selfe on Monday said he had received a report from the party’s legal commission to be discussed on Saturday.

Meanwhile, the Black First Land First (BLF) movement laid complaints against Zille at the Equality Court and the South African Human Rights Council on Monday, over “her pro-colonialist tweets”.

The BLF had already laid charges at the Hillbrow police station for crimen injuria, an allegation that she wilfully injured a group of peoples’ dignity by using racially offensive language.

The movement has urged black people to withdraw from the DA.

“BLF Western Cape calls on all black people within the DA, including Mmusi Maimane, to speedily vacate that party of land thieves,” Western Cape convenor Ncedisa Mpemnyama said.

“They must come and join BLF as we fight for the return of land without compensation, in order to end racism now.”

Zille had apologised following the outcry on social media, but her sorry was rejected in many quarters.

Maimane even distanced the party from her comments, saying her tweet was not representative of the DA’s views.

Maimane last week said: “I say this unashamedly [on behalf of the DA], we will always stand for the rights of individuals. Systems such as apartheid and colonialism, we cannot condone any aspect of that.”

The possible disciplinary process is pending the outcome of this weekend’s meeting.

But the former DA leader’s tweets will also be under scrutiny by the Western Cape Legislature on Tuesday, as it has a snap debate on her social media utterances.

Zille’s tweet read: “For those claiming legacy of colonialism was ONLY negative, think of our independent judiciary, transport infrastructure, piped water, etc.”

The premier did not respond to requests for comment.

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