A preliminary hearing is expected to take place today on the former Democratic Alliance (DA) leader Helen Zille at the Equality Court in the Western Cape, following tweets by her that embraced aspects of colonialism legacy.
Black First Land First (BLF) leader Andile Mngxitama said the organisation had lodged a complaint of racism against Zille at the Equality Court, and the matter will be heard at the Western Cape High Court this morning.
On March 16, Zille caused an uproar with her tweets in which she stated that, “Getting onto an aeroplane now and won’t get onto the Wi-Fi so that I can cut off those who think EVERY aspect of colonial legacy was bad.”
Mngxitama said: “The hearing will determine whether the matter will go to court or whether there’ll be an out of court settlement. But we are not going to settle this matter out of court.”
He said Zille insulted black people and to show remorse in her apology, she has to acknowledge “the genocide committed by whites on Africans”.
Last week, she issued a public apology. However, it has since been reported that the statement appeared to have been changed to suit the former DA leader and that she read out a watered down apology.
The DA suspended Zille from party activities, but she remains the Western Cape Premier.
Economic Freedom Fighters leader Julius Malema applauded the DA for the stance. However, Mngxitama said Zille is “not yet off the hook”.
“We are not Julius Malema who is in alliance with the DA and quickly accepted her apology. Malema is a defender of colonialism and racisms. We don’t accept her apology. What she said was an insult to black people. She did not apologise, she faked the apology.”
Approached for comment, DA national spokesperson Phumzile van Damme said: “We consider the matter closed, I am not going to comment any further on that.”
Van Damme said she was not aware of the alleged scheduled preliminary hearing, and referred all queries to Zille’s spokesperson, Michael Mpofu. Text messages were sent to Mpofu and calls made but he did not respond at the time of going to print.
Watch Zille’s apology below