Western Cape Premier Helen Zille apologised to South Africans over her tweets praising colonialism, adding that her actions undermined Mmusi Maimane’s party leadership.
“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,” said Zille in a joint briefing with Maimane on Johannesburg.
Her tweets, praising aspects of colonialism drew widespread criticism, with calls to the Democratic Alliance (DA) to fire Zille.
Zille added that everyone should get behind Maimane’s leadership.
“During this period I made public utterances that had the effect of undermining the leader of the DA and the project he is leading. I greatly regret this…Mmusi Maimane is a democratically elected leader of the DA and we must all get behind him.”
Last week, Maimane announced Zille’s party membership had been suspended, but Zille was quick to point out that he had flouted the party’s constitution by not giving her a chance to make representations.
The party later backtracked saying Zille was still to submit reasons why she should not be suspended.