Her party's leadership, not Helen Zille, is bringing the DA into "disrepute"
By instituting formal disciplinary proceedings against Helen Zille, the federal executive of the Democratic Alliance (DA) has done more to bring "the good name of the party into disrepute" than Ms Zille's tweet about colonialism ever could. Ms Zille is guilty at the most of "thought crime", forerunner of the political correctness which has done so much to stifle debate in this country.
Moreover, whatever the leadership of the DA might think, the debate she has provoked is both timely and necessary. More than that, the hostile reaction to her remarks has reminded us yet again how vigorously free speech needs to be defended - not only against possible legislative enactment but also against the more insidious threat from all those virtue-signallers who would shut it down by intellectual intimidation and moral one-upmanship of the kind that has characterised some of the attacks on Ms Zille by journalists and academics.
Some of the attacks - such as one accusing her of "moral turpitude" - have bordered on the hysterical. Others have been puerile, calling into question the sense of balance and proportion among sections of the South African intelligentsia. By laying charges against Ms Zille the DA leadership has shown similar lack of proportion (as well as poor leadership).
South Africa's twin ruling parties, the African National Congress (ANC) and the South African Communist Party (SACP), rely heavily on depicting black people as helpless victims of various forms of white malfeasance, among them apartheid, colonialism, white monopoly capital, "institutionalised racism", and of course the ineradicable sin of "whiteness" itself.
The presumption of helpless and irretrievable black victimhood serves to legitimate a powerful policy response. This includes legislation to "create" black industrialists or otherwise "empower" people unable to do anything for themselves without the help of the state or of the white man whose company has to do things for them in order to get enough "empowerment" points to get business for itself.