Western Cape premier Helen Zille has faced harsh criticism for calling some student protesters thugs and criminals on Thursday.
Zille has always been vocal against violent protesters for allegedly damaging government property. But some believe she is biased in her criticism because she, according to some of them, only criticises black people.
“These are thugs. Let’s not honour them by calling them students,” said the DA leader, referring to a picture collage of students destroying property.
These are thugs. Let's not honour them by calling them students. https://t.co/YAB2XG7kls
— Helen Zille (@helenzille) October 27, 2016
Enough is enough. Kwanele Kwanele. Charge this clearly identifiable criminal. pic.twitter.com/UZMnBjZA2E
— Helen Zille (@helenzille) October 26, 2016
She also called a man attacking a police van a “clearly identifiable criminal”.
Though she has also received a great of deal of support for her views, her tweets were met by a barrage of angry responses. Among those who responded was IG:@gamathabani1 @GAMATHABANI, who said: “@helenzille #very easy to say from person born in Hillbrow apartheid privileges.”
HungryLion @lionmaking said: “Noticed that Hellen Zille is only posting negative pictures and comments when blacks are involved.”
Exploited @intercedeonline responded “@helenzille all black people who are outside your microcosm are thugs mos Helen.”
However, Cathy @cbussiahn had a different view. She responded that “@helenzille true but they have to pay for the damages so I trust they will be found.”
The premier did not react to any of this.
A large crowd of students, parents and university lecturers marched outside Parliament in Cape Town on Wednesday while Finance Minister Pravin Gordhan delivered the medium-term budget policy statement. They were marching for free education, and property was reportedly destroyed in the process.