Helen Zille does quick about-turn on 'colonialism' defence

Barely an hour after Premier's tweet she apologises but Twitter users continue to drag her over the coals

Helen Zille does quick about-turn on 'colonialism' defence

16 March 2017

Cape Town – Western Cape Premier Helen Zille was forced to apologise on Thursday after she raised the ire of South Africans over her "defence of colonialism".

On Thursday morning while at the airport, the former DA leader had the country – and most Democratic Alliance leaders – up in arms when she tweeted: "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."

It was barely an hour later when the premier had to retract the statement when it caused an uproar on social media, with some calling for her to not come back to the country.

"I apologise unreservedly for a tweet that may have come across as a defence of colonialism. It was not," she then tweeted.

Zille was dragged over the coals on Twitter.

This was also one of the rare times when DA leader Mmusi Maimane entered the fray, while not specifically naming Zille.

"Let's make this clear: Colonialism, like Apartheid, was a system of oppression and subjugation. It can never be justified," he tweeted, just after she apologised.

Former DA youth leader Mbali Ntuli was more upfront about condemning the tweets.

"It was ONLY negative!!Colonialism=development argument is trash as those subjugated can attest to," she first tweeted.

"It's like saying Nazism was good for German democracy and their advancements in technology," Ntuli then said.

The ANC and Sports Minister Fikile Mbalula also condemned Zille’s tweets.

ANC spokesperson Zizi Kodwa questioned how Zille could ‘celebrate colonialism”.

Mbalula poked fun at the party in a series of memes depicting what could have led to the apology.

Twitter users were more brutal in dealing with Zille.

Most thanked her for showing her true colours, while some said she would soon be kissing babies come election year.

"No need to apologize for being yourself," one said.