Africa had varsities 'when white people were still running naked in Europe' – Mngxitama

BLF leader says Zille doesn't know anything about the history of civilisation

Africa had varsities 'when white people were still running naked in Europe' - Mngxitama

24 August 2017

Cape Town - Black First Land First leader Andile Mngxitama says he is looking forward to exposing Western Cape Premier Helen Zille as "ill-informed, ignorant, arrogant", and someone who "doesn’t know anything about the history of civilisation".

"Africans had universities when white people were still running naked in Europe, beating each other with clubs over the head and eating raw fish," an animated Mngxitama said outside the Western Cape High Court on Thursday, following the postponement of its case at the Equality Court regarding Zille's tweets on colonialism.

The postponement was to allow complaints lodged with the South African Human Rights Commission and Public Protector to be handled.

BLF approached the Public Protector because Zille’s legal representation was being paid for by the Western Cape government.

Mngxitama said this was an abuse of state resources, as Zille was being taken to the Equality Court in her personal capacity, because the tweets came from her private Twitter handle.

Zille’s spokesperson Michael Mpofu said the provincial government was paying for her advocate, as BLF’s complaint had been laid against the Premier of the Western Cape, and not against Zille in her private capacity.

He laughed off Mngxitama’s description of Zille as "ill-informed, ignorant and arrogant”.

'This is about racism'

Mngxitama said he would advise BLF's lawyers to suspend the racism complaint with the SAHRC and the probe by the Public Protector, as it had more faith in the Equality Court to handle their complaint.

"We are very clear - this is about racism. Colonialism is about land theft," he said as a number of BLF supporters stood on the steps of the High Court.

"There is no apology that is acceptable, without the acknowledgement of the genocide and land theft against the Khoi and San. She must come out and say that the land belongs to black people. It must be returned."

Returning from a trip to Singapore on March 16, Zille tweeted: "For those claiming legacy of colonialism was ONLY negative, think of our independent judiciary, transport infrastructure, piped water etc."

A second tweet read: "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."

Zille apologised and said she was not defending or justifying colonialism, but only highlighting that its consequences were not only negative.

Mngxitama rubbished the argument that there were any positive aspects to colonialism, describing it as the erasure of black people’s achievements and identities.

The matter was postponed to October 9.