Western Cape Premier Helen Zille has once again put her foot in it when she took to Twitter posting about colonialism in response to a tweet about the drought affecting the province.
A picture posted by social media user @JerryTaba this week showed children carrying buckets of water in wheelbarrows along a dusty road, accompanied by the words: “I really fail to understand why this WC #DayZero is attracting such attention to a point where even Army will come to de rescue.
We grew up nd still living in de #DayZero, when will government nd Army rescue us? #DefeatDayZero.”
It was not long before Zille replied by saying: “It must be a relief that you weren’t burdened by the legacy of a colonial water piping system.”
When pushed for an explanation by the user on what she meant due to “English not being his mother tongue”, she then replied: “I am trying to highlight hypocrisy. That concept exists in every language.”
Zille then refrained from tweeting any further in the conversation thread without explanation. But it was not before long that she was accused by Twitter users of being hypocritical by being silent.
The initial user further added later: “What is painful about some of the whites and @helenzille responses is that they are not saying even a word about what we are going through in this picture.
This picture shows how we live daily as black ppl but it will never be in de news since we don’t contribute to de economy.”
The former Democratic Alliance leader came under fire last year and faced party disciplinary proceedings over tweets on colonialism and its legacy as seen to be only “negative”.
“For those claiming legacy of colonialism was ONLY negative, think of our independent judiciary, transport infrastructure, piped water etc,” she posted, causing outrage.
In another development, it appears Zille may have annoyed fellow DA members.
A Twitter user called “Mr Daddy” (@tsebisom) commented: “I’m convinced you’re out to sabotage Maimane’s @MyDA if that’s not the intention it’s certainly the effect.” That tweet was re-tweeted by a number of users and it was “liked” by DA national spokesperson Phumzile van Damme.
Van Damme publicly distanced the party from Zille last year after the premier stirred up controversy by tweeting that the legacy of colonialism was not only negative.
When asked for comment on the latest matter, DA leader Mmusi Maimane referred Saturday Citizen back to Zille and the premier’s office.
Zille did not take calls, nor did she answer Whatsapps asking for comment by the time of going to print.
This was despite the messages being marked as read.