Zille and MPL in vir­tual spat

The Star Early Edition - - NEWS - BON­GANI HANS

DA LEADER He­len Zille and KwaZulu-Natal MPL Mbali Ntuli took their party’s in­ter­nal dif­fer­ences to so­cial me­dia at the week­end, with Twit­ter and Face­book users join­ing the vir­tual brawl.

The fight started after Zille re­acted neg­a­tively to a Face­book post in which Ntuli said: “(KwaZulu-Natal) Premier (Senzo) Mchunu has just come up to me to thank the DA for their con­tri­bu­tion to the de­bate. Promised a meet­ing where we can ta­ble more in­put.”

Zille com­mented: “Sounds as if you think this is a com­pli­ment.”

There have been pre­vi­ous re­ports of an­i­mos­ity be­tween Zille and Ntuli, who re­signed as leader of the DA youth after com­plain­ing about be­ing frus­trated by the na­tional lead­er­ship.

Ntuli posted her Face­book mes­sage after she was in­volved in de­bate on youth is­sues dur­ing a sit­ting of the KZN leg­is­la­ture last week.

At the week­end, so­cial me­dia were abuzz with dif­fer­ences be­tween the two. Some so­cial net­work users – in­clud­ing jour­nal­ists, gen­der-rights or­gan­i­sa­tion lead­ers and po­lit­i­cal party lead­ers such as the EFF’s Julius Malema – at­tacked Zille.

Ntuli did not take Zille’s re­ac­tion ly­ing down. “It is not about me, He­len. (The) DA pol­icy I rep­re­sented was recog­nised by the premier as valu­able to help­ing young ppl (peo­ple). That’s what mat­ters.

“In the end, it would be great if the premier took our sug­ges­tions and used them to help young peo­ple in KZN just like in WC,” she said. Zille, the premier of the Western Cape, said: “It de­pends on who is com­ple­ment­ing what, doesn’t it?”

Malema took a swipe at Zille. “If you have noth­ing bet­ter to do wena He­len, look for Bi­ble and go to church,” he tweeted.

Sisonke Msi­mang of Sonke Gen­der Jus­tice said: “TRY­ING to hu­mil­i­ate her but @mbal­im­c­dust is too much of a pro to be baited.”

For­mer gov­ern­ment spokesman Jimmy Manyi told Zille she should have phoned Ntuli in­stead of hu­mil­i­at­ing her in pub­lic.

Mail & Guardian re­porter Sam Sole said Zille’s com­ment was un­be­com­ing.

“Your lack of gen­eros­ity is self-de­struc­tive,” he said.

No­lutha0209 said: “Mbali et al will soon know like Lindiwe did that the DA is no home for a black per­son with brain.”

The DA leader in the eThekwini mu­nic­i­pal­ity, Zwakele Mncwango, tried to di­vert the noise to the ANC.

“Asikhule ngezithi (let us talk about) ANC cau­cus (that) is di­vided in eThekwini coun­cil.”

Later, Zille backed down and con­grat­u­lated Ntuli. “Well done, Mbali! You had a huge im­pact and I am hear­ing a great deal about it.”

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