Case of racism opened against Helen Zille

Black First Land First (BLF) has on Saturday (25 March), opened a case of racism against Western Cape premier Helen Zille at the Hillbrow Police Station in Johannesburg.

Zille caused an uproar on social media when she tweeted last week that not every aspect of European colonialism was bad.

“For those claiming legacy of colonialism was only negative, think of our independent judiciary, transport infrastructure, piped water etc,” the premier said on Twitter.

“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 later apologised and said her tweets were not intended as a defence of colonialism.

Read: The DA must not play the race card like the ANC, warns Zille

On Saturday, the BLF charged Zille “for crimen injuria relating to racism in that, through her pro-colonialism utterances last Thursday, she unlawfully and intentionally impaired the dignity of blacks and insulted their collective pain caused by colonialism”.

The BLF said it would on Monday, 27 March, also charge Zille in Cape Town “for her racist conduct on Twitter”.

“To this end BLF will lodge a complaint with the South African Human Rights Commission and prefer a charge in the Equality Court of South Africa,” it said in a statement.

“As can be gleaned from Zille’s racist rants on Twitter last week, her conduct amounts to a justification and promotion of the anti black legacy of colonialism.”

It pointed to what it called ‘Zille’s bragging anti black utterances”.

  • “For those claiming legacy of colonialism was ONLY negative, think of our independent judiciary, transport infrastructure, piped water etc”
  • “Would we have had a transition into specialised health care and medication without colonial influence? Just be honest, please”
  • “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 called the premier’s apology ‘half baked’ after Zille wrote: “I apologise unreservedly for a tweet that may have come across as a defence of colonialism. It was not”.

“Zille’s so called apology amounts to an admission of guilt. Furthermore her “apology” lacks genuine remorse on her part.

“She has committed the crime of crimen injuria relating to racism with impunity. To this end she is assured by the fact that the anti black post 1994 settlement has served to keep whites in power. Furthermore, Zille can act with impunity simply because she has the power and legitimacy of the white supremacist system to do so,” the BLF said.

It called for Zille to be prosecuted to the full extent of the law and charged that she be penalized “with the most appropriate sentence to fit the crime that she has committed”.

This, it said, included the following:

  • a true commitment on her part to use her status as a public official and correct the colonial situation that her racist utterances serve to promote and justify;
  • a genuine commitment from her to destroying the basis of colonialism which is land theft from the black people;
  • telling and getting whites to return the stolen land to blacks.
  • lead the Democratic Alliance into accepting the call to amend Section 25 of the current Constitution so as to realise land return to blacks without compensation.
  • returning all the land in her hands to blacks.

EWN reported that Zille has already met with the DA’s Western Cape caucus this week relating to her comments.


Read: Maimane speaks out against Zille

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