Parliament must fasttrack laws criminalising racism and hate speech so punishment can be meted out to people such as Western Cape Premier Helen Zille, who caused a stir when she posted a tweet saying the legacy of colonialism was not all bad, the African National Congress (ANC) said on Monday
“Where people refuse to be educated on their wrongs, they must be punished by the law. Such include opposition leaders who make utterances praising colonialism,” a statement from the ANC national executive committee said.
“This demonstrates clearly that ours remains a struggle between progress and reaction. It is clear that we have hardly moved an inch from the ideological positions of the past which viewed colonialism and apartheid racism as having been good for black people.”
Earlier on Monday, James Selfe, Democratic Alliance (DA) chairperson of the party’s federal executive said he had received a report following an internal investigation into Zille’s comments on twitter.
The investigation was done by Glynnis Breytenbach, the party’s chairperson of the federal legal commission.
“This report will now be discussed at a Federal Executive meeting, to be held on Sunday, 2 April 2017,” said Selfe
On March 16, Zille tweeted: “For those claiming legacy of colonialism was ONLY negative, think of our independent judiciary, transport infrastructure, piped water etc.”
Zille’s successor as DA leader Mmusi Maimane lodged a complaint following the tweets.
The premier later apologised for the remarks, but not before an internal investigation was launched.