The African National Congress (ANC) on Tuesday slammed the “so-called political settlement” by the opposition Democratic Alliance (DA) over Helen Zille’s controversial tweets around colonialism, saying it amounted to an “unadulterated defence of white supremacy and privilege”.
Western Cape Premier and former DA leader Zille on Tuesday apologised to South Africans for her controversial tweets around colonialism.
At a joint press conference with DA leader Mmusi Maimane in Johannesburg, Zille said: “I realise the wounds of history that my tweet and subsequent defence of it has opened. In particular, I recognise that my actions were insensitive to South Africans who suffered under colonial oppression. For this, I am genuinely sorry.”
Maimane said Zille agreed that it was in the best interests of the party for her to vacate her position on all decision-making structures of the DA, including the federal executive, and the federal and provincial councils. She would however remain provincial premier until 2019.
But the ANC said: “It is an unprincipled, hypocritical and meaningless token offered to what is hoped is a gullible public and once again unmasks the true character of the DA as a racist party, constituted of unrepentant and unreformed bigots led by a caretaker leader with no real power.”
The ANC said Zille was not the first leader of the DA to “praise and pray for the return of apartheid colonialism and other systems which oppressed the black majority in this country”, citing the likes of DA office bearers Dianne Kohler-Barnard and Chris Roberts as “apartheid apologists and rabid racists exposed for their blatant disregard and disdain for our country’s reconciliation and nation building project”.
The ANC accused the DA of having no political will to rid the party of racism. “Whilst the party will routinely crisscross the country in an effort to woo black voters, they are unwilling to wean themselves off their traditional white and conservative base.”
The ANC further said there was nothing party leader Maimane could do about the situation “because he is not in charge and the party’s funders have threatened to pull out if Zille is removed”.
Zille had proven herself over and over again to be anti-poor and anti-black, the ANC said, adding that she was not fit to remain as premier of the Western Cape.