NEWS & ANALYSIS

Ruling on Zille's polarising colonial tweets welcomed – ANC WCape

Party says outcome bitter-sweet as matter is now moot given that Premier has now vacated office

ANC Welcomes the High Court ruling on Zille's polarising Colonial Tweets.

5 November 2019

The African National Congress in the Western Cape Provincial Legislature welcomes the judgement by the North Gauteng High Court to dismiss former Premier Zille’s appeal against the Public Protector’s finding that she violated the Executive Members Ethics Act.

The Public Protector had found that Helen Zille’s tweet that “for those claiming legacy of colonialism was ONLY negative think of our independent judiciary, transport, infrastructure, piped water etc.” was in breach of the constitution.

The matter had been referred to the office of the Public Protector by the then ANC leader of opposition, Khaya Magaxa. The application to review and rescind the finding of the Public Protector by Helen Zille was dismissed with costs.

The remedial action ordered by the Public Protector was that the matter should be referred to the legislature in order for it to take action against Hellen Zille while she was still Premier.

This never happened. This was due to the unwillingness of former DA Speaker Sharma Fernandez to act speedily on the finding by the Public Protector and also due to Zille’s attempt to avoid accountability through her court application .

Responding to these developments, the ANC leader of opposition in the provincial legislature , Cameron Dugmore , said: “As the ANC we welcome this ruling by the court, but it is a bitter sweet outcome as the matter is now moot given that Helen Zille has now vacated office. We firmly believe her appeal was a deliberate attempt to escape accountability for her conduct which was clearly in breach of the Executive Code of Ethics Act.

“At the time, former DA leader Mmusi Maimane described the tweets as “unacceptable and indefensible “. Yet the DA took no serious steps against her and she continued as Premier. And now Zille, while no longer Premier, is de facto the leader of the DA.

“As the ANC we believe that the DA and Helen Zille owe the people of our province and the country a public apology. We will call for a snap debate on this matter next week when the legislature is in session.”

“Colonialism brutalized, oppressed and divided millions of black South Africans. Its bitter legacy is felt today. Yet Zille and the DA add insult to injury by telling us that race does not matter.

“Current DA Premier Alan Winde also needs to acknowledge the hurt caused by Zille’s tweets and apologise for his role in not challenging her at the time when he served as MEC in her Provincial Cabinet.”

Issued by Cameron Dugmore, Leader of Official Opposition, ANC in the Western Cape Provincial Legislature, 5 November 2019