Maybe Zille was right on more racist laws today than during apartheid

Zille, has a more prolific public profile, but has led the party before. Some classical liberals believe its Waters' turn to hold the fort and take the party back to its old values. FILE PICTURE: Helen Zille. Picture: Neil McCartney

One thing remains clear, whatever her motives, the DA has an obvious challenge that may need urgent attention.

As Helen Zille bobs and weaves past another storm caused by her latest bit of controversy, where she tweeted that there were more racist laws today than there were under apartheid, her party is expected to come out with a way forward on the matter as MP Werner Horn leads investigations.

The DA has confirmed that Zille’s tweets were being reviewed against the rules of the party, to indicate whether she had broken any laws for her views on apartheid laws.

Those same views have received major criticism across the country with political parties calling for the DA to discipline Zille for her unchained views on social media.

Tweets that there were more racist laws today than there were under apartheid, were further exacerbated by her roping in the governing party into the debate.

In one tweet she wrote: “Had it not been for former president FW de Klerk dismantling the apartheid regime, the ANC would still be bogged down in the mess of its so-called liberation camps and infighting. They (ANC) had no viable armed struggle to speak of.”

As clear cut as Zille’s tweets are one cannot help but question her motives.

Yes, Zille reduced the anti-apartheid struggle into a ‘so-called struggle’, implying it was lesser or worse, never really occurred, yet some of us question, analyze, prod and probe such statements before jumping to the outrage bandwagon.

Zille, just like any human, thinks a certain way, and believe it or not, has gained some well-deserved clout. Heck, she’s the DA’s federal chairperson, a solid position, which could allow us to assume she is someone who consciously and competently knows what they’re doing.

So what exactly angered most about her tweets?

“There were more racist laws in the country now than there were during apartheid.”

Now before we jump into the obviously simplistic response to this, we need to understand that most of us lack the depth of intellect to understand that people say what they feel, and those feelings stem from somewhere.

So where do Zille’s views come from? What does she know, or has been exposed to that has led to her conclusion that there were more racist laws in the country now, than there were during apartheid?

What does she mean by more racist laws?

These factors play an important part in deciphering the meaning behind a statement.

Perhaps your definition of racist and hers differ.

While it’s simple to just pull out the race card, pause for a second and question what she meant. Even tweet her to ask her what she meant.

How many of us actually did that?

No, this is not a defend Zille platform, but a complex viewpoint that seeks to question motive before judgment.

There are a number of laws that I’m sure could be objectively selected to solidify Zille’s statement while selectively tailored research could also paint a different picture.

This will all lead to one conclusion that the meaning of the statement has to be understood first.

As calls for Zille to retire or step aside from her post continue to grow, pending the outcome of a probe into her conduct, one cannot help but note that the DA’s actions on the matter will likely indicate how valuable Zille is to the party and if they can actually control and gag her on some of her ‘radical’ and ‘racist’ views on Twitter.

Either way, the country awaits.

The ANC’s Dakota Legoete hit the nail on its head when he said the DA had to discipline Zille because she was their leader and what she said would always be linked to the DA’s policy position.

Because of the position she holds in the party, statements like these; “had it not been for former president FW de Klerk dismantling the apartheid regime, the ANC would still be bogged down in the mess of its so-called liberation camps and infighting,” not only leave a bad taste in some of our mouths but imply that Legoete may just have an undeniable point in describing Zille as suffering from “a hangover of white supremacy agenda”.

While the controversial headline of this piece got you here, can we both agree that nothing is ever just black and white?

Gopolang Moloko

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