National 4.8.2016 10:10 am

Zille’s ‘racist’ remark angers DA voter

Helen Zille. Picture: Alaister Russell

Helen Zille. Picture: Alaister Russell

One person said Zille made her embarrassed to have voted DA – a twar has been raging about yet another controversial tweet since last night.

Western Cape Premier Helen Zille found herself being repeatedly labelled a racist hours after voting stations closed on the day of local government elections on Wednesday.

This after the former DA leader tweeted a picture of black students in the Cape Argus. She called on funders to withdraw their money from them in response to their conflict at being University of Cape Town (UCT) students.

The students were helping the newspaper out with one of their editions.

“If this woke bunch hate being UCT students so much, pls help them out of their misery and withdraw their funding,” said Zille on Twitter.

Zille’s sarcastic tweet, in which she referred to the students as a “woke bunch”, sparked an array of responses from people who thought her tweet was racist.

Makhosani Nwandzule ‏@MakhosaniOscar, responded saying: “@helenzille the real leader of @Our_DA has spoken, the stooge @MmusiMaimane must clean up the mess or leave. Vote 4 Change is now “leave””. To Zille retaliating, “@MakhosaniOscar You are a massive unadulterated racist for claiming that a black leader can’t lead. Sies”.

This led to a great war of words, with some calling the premier a racist and the premier then accusing some Twitter users of “trying to manufacture outrage”.

“@helenzille so are you for thinking black people must keep quiet or leave. Does that leave apply to Western Cape. Must we leave if unhappy?” asked Nwandzule. Nwandzule further said: “@helenzille where should they be? they are very young capable people who are part of UCT.Where should black people be if not in Universities”.

Afrikan @bboichoko tweeted, “@helenzille @Ngoako_B this defence of the silly tweet makes you even more racist than rationale, stop it and apologise. Focus on results”.

Zille didn’t back down, but responded, saying: “Nothing racist. No student of whatever colour should be forced to be at a university if they hate it”.

Gabi Mthombothi ‏@GabiMthombothi lashed out at Zille, saying: “you just couldn’t wait to show your racism day after the elections, so they are right you use people for votes and then this!!!” “. “@GabiMthombothi What is racist about saying that ppl of any race who hate being at university should not waste their time or public money?,” asked Zille.

One Twitter user Charmelle Magill ‏ went as far as saying: “@helenzille I’m not a student, but a 40 year old woman now embarrassed to have voted for the DA today!!!”.

Speaking at the Western Cape election results centre, Zille said her social media comment was in no way racist.

“I meant what I said people who don’t want to be at university don’t have to be… The tweet had absolutely nothing to do with race and the outrage manufacturers know that,” she said.

Meanwhile, Zille said she was “delighted” with the party’s performance in the Western Cape so far.

Of particular significance was that the DA had for the first time taken Cape Agulhas away from the ANC.

Kouga municipality in the Eastern Cape had also been taken and voters’ had increased in the Midvaal area in Gauteng.

“In the Western Cape [there] are spectacular results coming out here and I am very, very excited by it. There’s been a huge swing to the DA and so much for people who keep saying every election we have reached our ceiling.

“So it shows to you that in most places where people have experienced DA government they want more of it; so it’s a wonderful trend that we are seeing here and it is going to continue I think,” Zille said.

– Additional reporting by Denise Williams

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