SHARE

Despite some distractions by Spur losing its 2-for-1 burger special, South Africa has spent the last while sharpening their collective pitchforks, ready to roast Western Cape Premier and ex-leader of the Democratic Alliance (DA), Helen Zille. The witch hunt comes, allegedly, because of this tweet:

For those with a bare amount of common sense and historical knowledge, this tweet could easily be ignored in the chaff of Twitter. Not because of anything negative, but because of how abundantly true and unimpressive the statement is.

On Colonialism

Of course, the legacy of colonialism brought us positive aspects! Any non-UK citizen who tries to decry such a fact in English is immediately proving my point. As myself and other commentators have had to point out – what seems like countless times – history isn’t some simple dichotomy between good and effective and evil and ineffective. Life is a lot more complicated than that. Computers found themselves developed due to war. The atom bomb ended the Second World War. The Nazis invented Fanta. Bad people can do good things. And bad things can lead to good things.

A defence of Zille’s statement is not a defence of colonialism, but of the decent things it left behind, and of an honest examination of history. Petty playing with virtual history is irrelevant. Africa was not given the opportunity to establish liberal democracy and industry by itself, but we cannot act like it would have. What we do know is that colonialism did bring these aspects to Africa – and if we wish to be intellectually honest, we must accept this fact.

Yet, this argument shouldn’t even be necessary. In no way was Zille praising or even trying to justify colonialism. She was decrying blanket condemnation of history, without respecting the nuances. She shouldn’t have to apologise just because other people wanted to misunderstand her.

Zille’s Response

Helen Zille has since defended her Tweet and viewpoint in a magnificent article discussing why Singapore succeeds while South Africa has failed. The article possesses many gems, such as:

“South Africa’s version of “transformation” — bribe-based black elite enrichment, masquerading as black economic empowerment — is an incomprehensible amalgam of racism and corruption designed to ensure economic failure.”

“While travel broadens the mind, I tend to forget that, on returning to South Africa, it is best to shrink your mind again to fit the contours of political correctness. Especially if you are white. We pay lip service to equal citizenship. In reality, every opinion is judged on the basis of the colour of the person who expresses it.”

The article is filled with more of these quotes, but the essence of them is found in this:

“I have always known that African racial nationalism is the central tenet of the ANC. But is it becoming the philosophy of the DA?”

And that is the crucial part of this discourse. Zille’s own party has condemned her and called her in for a disciplinary hearing.

The DA’s Witch Hunt

The DA, the apparent liberal vanguard of South Africa, is punishing one of its stalwart builders because she said something that shouldn’t offend anyone. Not only are they capitulating to the outraged Twitter mob, they are genuinely joining the witch hunt!

But for what?

The ANC has called for the DA to fire Zille from her positions. This is to be expected. The ANC has a lot to gain from Zille’s fall. She is a powerful critic of their regime and has been unshakeable for a long time. She is also a symbol of the DA, for many, despite her no longer being leader. The ANC also have no qualms about the use of historical fiction. Their rhetoric tends to revolve around blaming everything on Jan van Riebeek and their own shortcomings on other irrelevant figures and phases of South African history.

It is no surprise that the ANC has capitalised on this tweet to attack Zille, but it should come as a surprise that her own party jumped on top of her as well. One would think that the opposition would oppose the demands of their rivals.

The reason I am not surprised is that the DA is no longer the liberal vanguard of South Africa – if it ever was. In its quest for votes, it has become a soulless mass party. But this isn’t new information. The downfall of the DA’s principles has been a long time coming. The only reason that many liberals still cling on is in hope that the few genuinely liberal DA leaders (of which there are a few) will be able to regain dominance.

Politics without principle

But, you might say, it doesn’t matter that her statement was not wrong. It matters that the electorate may see it as wrong.

It is abundantly clear that the DA only cares about votes. It is no longer about the goal of a freer and prosperous South Africa. It is only about what was once only a means. Damn freedom, damn reason, damn the truth – all just for an X in a box. For this reason, it is clear why the witch hunt has been supported by Zille’s own camp.

As an editorial by Business Day stated:

“To many DA supporters, her comment that colonialism was not all bad would be regarded as forthright, but arguable. But to others and particularly most black South Africans — precisely the voters the DA wants to attract to the party — the comment is, apart from anything else, offensive, especially when delivered with a haughty, declarative, dismissive demeanour.”

It doesn’t matter that she may have been right, or that her statement wasn’t that bad at all. It matters that the DA, and much of the politically-correct media, perceives that the electorate will be foaming at the mouth at her utterances. It is not so much that the ‘black electorate’ has called for Zille’s head. It is only that her party and some media buffoons have presumed the ideals of the South African population and fabricated outrage.

The average South African doesn’t go on a rampage whenever they hear colonialism mentioned in anything but a negative manner. The majority care about facts. But when you treat an electorate like idiots, they become idiots. And this is what shapes the South African discourse.

This outrage was fabricated, as people were told that they should be offended, or at least condemn Zille for a PR blunder. But Zille did nothing wrong. Her party did. Her party, who should have stood up for the truth and reasonable discourse (as liberalism demands!), betrayed its principles yet again. They kindled the outrage. Any damage done by this episode is because of party disunity and a betrayal of principle.

But the DA won’t care about the liberal moaning. Much of its ranks no longer care — or never did — about freedom, sound policy and truth. They care about marketing and votes. In their quest to gain these votes, they will patronise the entire population. It is easier to get the votes of children than thoughtful adults – so the DA, the ANC and all other mass parties have turned politics into a purely cosmetic façade – where policy doesn’t matter. Where it is all about the makeup, the deceptive lighting and the lies.

When the DA says that Zille must be punished so as not to alienate the black electorate, they are dehumanising and patronising the voting public. They are treating them like a mindless morass, with pre-programmed opinions. They don’t care about the fact that black voters can think for themselves. So, they would rather play the ANC’s game and destroy some of the last vestiges of reason in the party.

Conclusion

Zille isn’t perfect. She is by no means the best liberal – or maybe even a liberal – in South Africa. But being condemned and disciplined for tweeting the truth is simply unjust. What her fate will decide is if the DA is worth any more hope that it will retain some liberality, or that it will just become a blue ANC.

Zille said it better than I can:

“The real danger is that the DA, in its quest for votes, may start to swallow every tenet, myth and shibboleth of African racial-nationalist propaganda, including the scape-goating of minorities, populist mobilisation and political patronage. Then the institutionalisation of corruption will only be a matter of time.”

And with the fall of the DA, hopefully there will be a replacement, because I know that if Zille is ousted along these grounds, I will no longer be able to put my X next to that logo.

  • Mo Haarhoff

    Thank you. Rational common sense.

  • Harald Sitta

    Excellent! Let us fight over that! I always tell the anti-col,anti-imp,anti-cap crowd that they would not speak English without Imperialism, would not be able to read and write with Colonialism and would not wear fancy clothes without Capitalism.Chinese, Japanese etc do not complain about Imperialism etc etc they just work hard and take a .lot of industrial and technical wisdom from the West.And right here ? They complain. themselves into the hut again ……Be it but on their way they destroy a modern state

  • Brendon Cockerell
  • Solid read! Good work 🙂

    On the one hand I do share the concern that the DA is going to fall victim to classic populist politics. On the other hand, that seems to be necessary to engage and activate a voting base – South Africa’s education on things like history and civics is dogshit (to say the least). Is this not maybe a case where the ends justify the means?

    I’m not honestly convinced that’s a good argument myself, I’m just trying to find an alternative interpretation of events that isn’t doom-and-gloom.

  • Carulhein

    She did not say colonislism wasn’t all bad, she said the legacy of colonialism wasn’t all bad. Difference!

  • Johan Kruger

    Spot on!

  • JenWebbe

    Absolutely right. If Helen goes, my X will not be crossed next to the DA. I can barely believe I have had to form this opinion. Most disappointing, but am still hoping they will not let the axe fall and shatter so many of our hopes of them bringing real change and an end to racist populism and policies.

    • Sad Days

      If the DA remove Zille I reckon it will cost them at least a million votes. Mmusi’s future as leader will also be in question. And there will be no way they will stand a chance to win the country in 2019. I can’t believe the present leadership has allowed themselves to fall into this trap.

      • More like around half their votes. So they’d better appeal to black voters for the first time, and then appeal to them a great big deal to make up for the losses.

  • South_One

    Except it’s not the truth is it…….. The reason that Singapore has done well for itself isn’t because of colonialism. It’s more about a benevolent dictatorship and limited individual rights, and being on the biggest trade route. Zille was being bad at her job – a professional politician – it’s rational and liberal to get disciplined for something like that.

    • RockRabbit

      Where did she say Singapore did well for itself because of colonialism ?
      You’re as bad as the ANC propaganda machine or perhaps part of it.
      If the DA chooses to seek votes before seeking the truth , they will certainly lose my vote.

      • South_One

        Really. Follow all of the excuses that are being made. She went to Singapore, says things are great and colonialism wasn’t all bad.

        You’re picking at straws. She didn’t need to say it, she broke the rules. She should be punished.

        • What rule did she break? She could have draped herself in a Union Jack and sang “Rule Britannia”! There isn’t any rule against that. Thought-crime isn’t illegal. This ain’t Oceania.

          • South_One

            I like the 1984 reference but the DA has communication policies, and Zille’s in contravention of them.

          • Sad Days

            What was Zille’s “crime”? She was dismissive of people who reckon local people never learned anything from colonialist masters. If they didn’t, then sorry, that would have made them incredibly stupid … why wouldn’t you want to learn from a culture that is more developed and introduces hundreds of new ideas and technologies ?

            Did the local people in Africa say to the European settlers 4 centuries ago, “Thanks but no thanks, we really like our mud huts and animal skins, so we are going to stick with them”. No, of course they didn’t, they said, “Yeah, that’s a useful language I think I will learn it, Your clothes are indeed much more practical than my leopard skin, this democracy thing is also interesting, I am also convinced by this Christianity religion, so you say I can go to a place called a school and get access to this knowledge that you have ? ” … the list is endless. To make a huge fuss denying that it ever happened is just plain stupidity and for a party to turn on one of it’s great leaders because she said something so blatantly obvious and true is just sheer madness.

          • South_One

            She contravened DA communication policies and procedures. And the argument isn’t if societies learnt from others, or how they did it, that’s just contrived excuses.

            What should be considered is if Zille’s statements hinder the achievement of the DA’s goals. If the people who make these decisions believe that they do then the question is: Why would you have someone in a senior position of any institution actively preventing the achievement of the goals of that institution?

          • Sad Days

            Because the majority of supporters of the DA think that Zille’s willingness to explore new ideas is a GOOD thing. Who think that suppressing debate on new ideas to appease ANC propagandist trouble makers is a BAD thing. And that a leader that doesn’t understand how his supporters feel, is someone who is out of touch and not doing his job properly.

          • South_One

            I don’t think you know know what the majority of DA supporters feel, and I also don’t think you know what Mamane does or doesn’t understand. So try and keep your prejudice out of the conversation.

            There are many new ideas that Zille can explore that are relevant to her position as WC Premier. She should have stuck to that.

          • Sad Days

            What I do know is that I have a long history of being a passionate DA supporter with over 2000 posts on Politicsweb, over 10 years, endlessly promoting the party as a solution. Politicsweb has also, over the years, gone from having comments of despair, with people believing that the country had no future, to becoming an audience that is largely pro what the DA is doing.

            I personally, as a hard core DA supporter am angry. To manage to do that means someone seriously messed up. I also, have never seen such anger from fellow DA supporters on Politicsweb and other social media. So, I think I have a pretty good sense of how the existing DA voters feel.

            Zille played a pivotal part in creating the “New” DA. She is one of the great politicians in the world. She is also passionate about making SA work. I frankly welcome her insight into how SA can make this happen.

            Mmusi was fast tracked. He should have first been a mayor, then a Provincial leader, like Zille was, before becoming leader. However Zille stepped down early because she realised time was running out. He was a good candidate for the job, but he would have to learn on the job. I supported this.

            However, he is still learning. He lacks experience. This time I believe he messed up. He handled it badly. I just hope he has found a way to rectify it without ripping apart the party that Zille passed on to him to build up further.

          • South_One

            Zille is not going to be judged by Maimane alone. Also by James Selfe who has been in the party since Suzman’s days, Trollip who has been in the party for a couple of decades at least, and the provincial leaders with most of them being black, which is important, as it is black people who have been slighted by these statements.

            These people know far better than you or I (and I am a member and hard core supporter too!) what SA feels. Process will inevitably be followed and I will accept whatever outcome is decided upon, I hope you can too.

          • Sad Days

            There is only one outcome that can be decided upon because the whole process should never have happened. Hopefully the wisdom of the DA leadership will prevail and they will realise this. Sadly, I can’t say this with confidence because my trust in the DA leadership has now been seriously dented.

          • South_One

            A bunch of DA public representatives laid the complaint. The one with the most significance was the DA’s Federal Leader who was elected with I think 80% of the vote against a very strong candidate: Dr Wilmot James. So the process had to happen, it’s in the DA’s constitution.

          • Sad Days

            I would say that these “DA public representatives” are not representing the DA public properly. And that includes Mr 80%. They need to remember that they can all be replaced if their supporters are unhappy.

          • South_One

            Google: “The Big Read: Zille just keeps on digging” for an intelligent analysis of why what Zille has done is wrong. And try and read it with an open mind.

          • Sad Days

            I read it and Justice Malela gets it so wrong.

            He says –

            “A leader would have realised that we are sinking, every day now, into a racial morass. We are shouting. Not talking. We are insulting each other, not seeking solutions. The idea of a united, non-racial and democratic South Africa is a distant idea now only found in ANC documents from the 1980s.”

            THAT is the point. Zille is THAT great leader that sees that SA is drowning in victimhood and self pity – it’s a country where people love to use the past as an excuse for failure and are struggling to look forward to the future.

            Zille is begging people to put away their obsession with the old apartheid racial identities and embrace a future where skin colour won’t matter and where simple excellence is the goal of everything we do.

            She has seen it work in Singapore. “Let’s do the same” she begs.

            She believes she has found answers. She has found a country that has paved the way. And she is excited for us to explore their ideas and their lessons learnt.

            But the message is lost because too many in SA prefer just to nitpick at one of her off the cuff remarks about colonialism – it’s almost as if they need to make sure that their victimhood status will not be adversely affected by any of these ambitious, forward thinking ideas that she talks about.

          • South_One

            I understand why you support Zille so fervently, you have the same bloody-mindness that she suffers from. This sort of arrogance and obstinacy is not what a leader should posses in a democracy. Probably why Zille likes Singapore so much, as it is not a democracy.

            If you can’t understand how Zille’s tweets offend, then there’s not much more we can say to each other. If you can see that they are offensive, but don’t think that it’s a problem then your loyalty is more for Zille than the DA. Or maybe you think you can change people’s minds by insulting them??

          • Sad Days

            People who think things through with critical thinking tend to form strong opinions, which obviously still CAN be changed, but you will need to come to the table with a darn good counter argument to make it happen.

            Zille does her research, thinks things through and then is highly skilled at presenting her ideas in print. The good thing about Twitter is that she can reach out to a million people instantaneously with the key salient points. The bad thing is that anyone with half a brain cell can respond.

            I think the one lesson she has probably has learned from this is don’t tweet just before taking off in a plane, where she will be out of touch, because that just allows the Twiiteratti propagandists a chance to stir up mischief, knowing there will be no one to defend her position for a few hours.

          • South_One

            No you’re wrong. Those that are intelligent and have strong critical thinking are less likely to hold strong opinions. Ever heard of the Dunning Kruger Effect?

            That she doubled down and started insulting those in the DA for criticising her – which was basically everyone – shows the limit to her intellect. But she’s your hero, so you’re never going to accept this.

          • Sad Days

            She is articulate, intelligent, hard working and keen for others to be as hard working and thorough as she is – she doesn’t suffer slackers and fools gladly.

            She played a huge part in making the DA into Africa’s biggest multi racial party. If I was her and saw the party I helped create turn on me because of some trite pettiness, I would be furious.

            She has a million Twitter followers for a reason – she is much loved and a hero to most in Cape Town and the Western Cape. The DA might be getting blind to what a huge drawcard she is to the party – I hope not – I would hate them to take her out only to discover in 2 years time that a million voters seem to have disappeared.

            Just today someone told me their DA membership renewal was coming up and they were wondering whether they should renew it. I really hope the DA understand the seriousness of the game they are playing here.

          • Roy Martin

            Well then they have some very bad policies

          • South_One

            I managed PR for a company over a decade ago, and it was important for us to have the right people talking about specific issues.

            For an institution that’s public image is paramount. I imagine making sure that messages are sent in a coherent way is most important for any political party.

          • Roy Martin

            “The right people’ if you are referring to the lame ducks within nthe DA who are condemning Zille and running scared of the ANC then I am unimpressed . What is important is for a political party to speak the truth. What Zille tweeted was the truth and MM’s response was deplorable and unfortunate he has lost a lot of respect.

          • South_One

            It’s important for a political party to speak “the truth” is it? Well then where is Zille’s statement that when water freezes its density decreases causing ice to float? You see you can speak the truth, but how about speaking about what is relevant and politically advantageous.

            She could have mentioned Singapore’s great education system and how under her government they are trying to emulate this. She could have said a myriad of things that would not have caused some people to feel humiliated.

            And the people I am referring to were elected by proper DA procedure, some of which have been in the DA a lot longer than Zille.

          • rangerman

            Please stop talking rubbish.

            Ideas are more important than “feelings” snowflake.

            Always have been.

            Go selll your pr crap somewhere else.

          • South_One

            Not if you want to get elected fool.

          • rangerman

            Yes they are sonny.

            Because once you are elected you need an ideological framework to operate in or you end up like the anc.

            You and your ilk can take your faux outrage and shove it.

          • South_One

            A stupid vote losing tweet has no effect on the DA’s ideological framework. All it does is prevent the DA from getting into government and enacting their liberal ideology.

            And people predominantly use their emotions when considering who to vote for, or have you not read the vast amount of literature that supports this thesis. If you haven’t you’ve come to an ignorant conclusion. Not very rational.

        • Cape Storm

          Wrong. She went to Singapore and said they made the best of what colonialism did to them, they moved forward with a future focus. SA is stagnating because it is focused on the past.

          • South_One

            Nonsense. You’ve fallen into the post hoc logical fallacy. Just because Singapore was a colony doesn’t meant that it being a colony resulted in its development. Actually when you look at Singapore’s reasons for development most have nothing to do with it being a colony.

            As for SA’s stagnation, yes it’s a problem with the ANC and it’s inability to make good decisions for SA’s future. Why didn’t Zille talk about that in relation to the government that she manages, and not some nonsense about colonialism?

          • Roy Martin

            The arrival of the white settlers is not nonsense they happened and in the modern world their legacy lives on but the legacy of Shaka and his mob lives on only in Nkandla

          • Sad Days

            Her point was never about colonialism. Singapore BUILT on what they had learned from the colonialists. It is a true factual statement. But the propagandists saw a chance for some manufactured outrage by insisting nothing good can come from colonisation … she has no time for fools and merely dismissed this pathetic, irrelevant victim talk.

            This is when the DA leader should have stepped in and just calmed the waters with a few well crafted words clearing up any misunderstanding. Instead he pandered to the outrage manufacturers and added fuel to their flames.

          • South_One

            How about this: Zille never makes the tweet, and Mamane gets to continue his job winning votes for the DA. Or is it his job to make excuses for Zille’s stupidity?

          • Thomas Edison

            No it is his job to make excuses for your stupidity.

          • South_One

            Snappy comeback, you must be devastating in the playground.

          • Thomas Edison

            Only the stupid kids suffer.

          • South_One

            Ja, well. You continue your infantile mocking somewhere else, and leave the debate to those with cogent arguments.

          • Thomas Edison

            Cogent arguments? Really? Are you serious?

          • Sad Days

            How about this – Zille continues to figure out how to make SA a great nation like Singapore – Maimane enthusiastically joins in and encourages free debate and calls out ANC race hate fake outrage for what it is … and together, united, they move forward to making SA a country where skin colour is irrelevant, history is something to learn lessons from and not a place to wallow in self pity, and the future starts looking like Singapore, a place that all South Africans can be proud to call home.

          • South_One

            Sure. But it doesn’t require vote loosing tweets to do this.

          • rangerman

            She didn’t say it developed because of. Olonislism cake.

  • v_3

    HZ reminds me of “Maria” in Sound of Music. Totally untameable and not at all risk averse.

    Opposing apartheid forced her to put her family in hiding.
    Trying to merge with Agang also left her with egg on her face, since washed away.
    Etc, Etc.

    Hopefully the DA’s FedEx (chock-a-block with her rivals) will have more sense than the chatteratti and trolls Zille despises with such good reason.

  • .

    Mmusi has double standards, when there is a “debate” on race, he is at the fore front, but when it comes to sexual violence against women he is no where to be found e.g. His own current Deputy Shadow Minister being found guilty of sexual harassment, he said nothing. That goes the same with Terri Stander, Bongani Baloyi, Gordan MacKay etc. Check their public profiles, none of these public representatives said anything about the sexual harassment case? Why? The Sex Pest MP was fined a mere 12000, community work, and have to write a letter. He did not lose his post as Deputy Shadow Minister, nor was he barred to run again for the 2019 – 2024 election. Interesting that when the DA was accused of having a culture of sexual harassment, no women within the leadership structures denied it, but their male counter parts surely did.

  • v_3

    BBBEE = “bribe-based black elite enrichment”
    Priceless !!! 😉

    I wonder if arch-DA critic Gareth Onsin will regard it as his “Tweet of the Week”.

  • Steven van Staden

    Thanks for a rational review of this tweet. Most shocking is that in a healthy society it would not have been twisted into a racist statement but accepted as an assertion of obvious truth. Most portentous is the vociferous blanket denial of an inconvenient truth by so many leaders and commentators who seem to have missed the point that we can never progress as a proper democracy as long as political discourse is premised on politically expedient race-based deceit.

  • Frank in ZA

    Spot on. I have read a few similar opinion pieces like this one, but the big problem is: none came frome a black person, unfortunately. And that would have been important.

    • Bruce McDonald

      Truth knows no race

      • Frank in ZA

        Indeed. But in media and politics it seems to be different.

        • Roy Martin

          Only the ANC do not believe in the truth.

          • Spectator

            And now the DA too.

          • Christopher Mark V Lowe

            And more than just Mmusi and a few at the top…..

    • Steven van Staden

      I think one of the COPE leaders did point out the truth about the Zille tweets. Unfortunately I can’t remember the name, but I think it was Lekota. The point you make cannot be stressed enough: Black leaders need to speak out against the wrongs of the present and stop blaming Whites for every failing of the present government and its people.

  • Alan Watkins

    ” She shouldn’t have to apologise just because other people wanted to misunderstand her.”

    That is the crux of the matter !

    • Frank in ZA

      Problem, the same people wanted to misunderstand her apology.
      She did not apologize for her tweets, she apologized in case somebody was offended as result of his misunderstanding…

  • Roy Martin

    The most sane comment on this appalling lack of intelligence by MM and his cohorts. If they do the unthinkable and force this lady to step down they will be the losers.

  • Jardine Louw

    Well written piece, and all commonsense. It’s time that intelegent and reasonable people of all races stand together.

    • Frank in ZA

      Ja, I know lots of reasonable people – black & white. But in media and politics? Mostly hardliners stirring hate…

  • Spectator

    Many liberals dreams of a blue 2019 are starting to shatter. Sadly there simply is no political solution anywhere to be found for SA’s woes. It is rapidly becoming clear that SA is going to have to get in the ring and box this one out. Don’t like that idea? Suck it up fluffy, that’s the sound of inevitability you are hearing.

  • Wilf Nussey

    Well said. Good to see some rational thinking based on fact not emotion or self-aggrandisement.

  • Michael Nathan Bain

    I have always been one of the first to criticise God-Zille… and yet I cannot but applaud how succinctly you summed this up.

    • Same, but I am by no means a fan of the DA who value realpolitik above principles.

      For probably the first time, I am on Zille’s side.

  • Jimmy Miller

    Spot on analysis!

  • Donald Brown

    In a futile attempt to attract votes from the radical racist EFF/ANC, Maimane has compromised the democratic principals of the DA and lost all my respect to boot. Absolute lack of policy shown here.

  • Human7002

    Well said indeed.

  • Simon Grindrod

    Points to ponder. Let’s get down to brass tacks –

    1. Helen Zille has a very formidable intellect, huge work ethic and is the most astute political operator in a generation. She can rightly be regarded as the founding Mother of the modern DA.

    2. Nobody, other than Bell-Pottinger strategists, were clamouring for any formal pronouncements on the issue of colonialism. Even if they were, the DA could have formulated one and professionally articulated it with the buy-in of the entire party. Coherent, managed and structured political party messaging is critical.

    3. Mmusi Maimane was succeeding in the agreed strategy of growing the wider SA voter base. Many were applauding his efforts. He did not ask for, nor rightly expect, to have to deal with a PR bomb one of his own senior colleagues dropped without warning on SA.

    4. The SA political outlook for DA was much wider than the personal opinions of Premier Zille – especially given that the DA is hoping to build coalitions to deliver power.

    5. The DA ‘project’ was to break out of being seen as a regional party in the Western Cape a la NNP in the dying days.

    6. Perceptions are important in SA politics, and whether we like it or not, have to be carefully managed.

    7. Any elected representative has a genuine responsibility to adhere to the general policy and strategy of the party upon which their platform is derived. If not, stand as an independent.

    8. An apology, when given, should be made without conditions or constant re-justification. Otherwise, don’t apologise at all.

    9. Nobody, and no other entity, can be held responsible for the voluntary and willful actions of Premier Zille. To suggest she is now some form of ‘victim’ is to suggest that she is not responsible for her decisions and actions. That is insulting to her.

    10. Regardless of political affiliations, SA needs strong and unified opposition parties to strengthen accountability.

    11. This entire convoluted and divisive mess did not have to happen if Premier Zille had raised the issue within her party structures and not thought herself above the party she was instrumental in creating.

    A solution may be for the Premier to have an Official Twitter account for DA and government business, and other as a private citizen. That is quite self evident.

    • All interesting points. In regards to the final solution, briefly, her Twitter account is her own private account as a citizen. It is not an account of her office.

    • Sad Days

      12. A leader of a party should know how to put out a small fire with crisis control. He certainly should not pour petrol on it. And it shows a remarkable lack of leadership skills to use the situation to stick a dagger into the heart of one of the core leaders of the party.

      13. Zille had just visited a country that went from colonialism to being one of the top ten countries of the world. She returned to a SA that had also come from a colonial type background, but which had so much more going for it, yet it was sinking ever lower into the sewer. She raised a very crucial debate we need to be talking about. WHY?

      14. Ironically, the answer to the question lay in the response to her question. A whole lot of victimhood being claimed and no intelligent, forward thinking debate. Just months and months of wallowing in victimhood. And THAT is why SA is not becoming Singapore. We focus on looking back and pointing fingers whilst they look forward and make changes.

    • Rather this entire convoluted and divisive mess could have been dealt with within the party structures instead of by means of a twar.

      I for one was never impressed with Mmusi, so to me it’s just his inexperience and complete lack of leadership ability that is showing. The DA didn’t even get the suspension procedure right, and all indications so far is that they merely weakened their current support base in pursuit of an imagined one.

  • Hennie Du Plooy

    Maimane’s african sentiments began to show long before the Zille tweet. The DA is fast becoming an ANC carbon copy. They have completely lost the white voter’s trust in their quest for black support. So long, DA. It was nice knowing you.

    • Never been a fan of Maimane, whom I think is a terrible leader. He hasn’t run anything but a prayer group, so he is yet to pay his dues.