Give it up Zille and just leave al­ready

The Star Early Edition - - LETTERS - Fidel Hadebe

WHAT is the eas­i­est way to soil a good pro­fes­sional and po­lit­i­cal legacy?

Send a racially in­sen­si­tive and po­lit­i­cally stupid tweet and work tire­lessly to de­fend it, even when there is over­whelm­ing ev­i­dence that the tweet you sent was plain rub­bish right from the start.

This is what He­len Zille is do­ing, ex­cel­lently.

She is one of the most in­flu­en­tial peo­ple in South Africa. The full story of this coun­try can­not be told with­out men­tion­ing her name – in a pos­i­tive way.

Well, all of that is about to end, cour­tesy of her dumb tweet that sought to glo­rify colo­nial­ism and pro­ject it as some­thing that was not that bad af­ter all.

In­stead of apol­o­gis­ing and with­draw­ing from the en­su­ing crit­i­cism and de­bate, Zille has been try­ing her level best to de­fend her tweet, mak­ing life dif­fi­cult for the DA and its leader Mmusi Maimane.

The new word she has in­tro­duced in this dis­as­trous de­bate is the “re-pur­pos­ing” of colo­nial­ism. I do not know what “re-pur­pos­ing” means but what­ever the mean­ing, it doesn’t help dig her out of the mess she should have stayed away from.

She’s mak­ing life dif­fi­cult for Maimane, who is try­ing his best to as­sert his lead­er­ship in the DA and win the con­fi­dence of the black mid­dle class, es­pe­cially with the many trou­bles (self-made) Luthuli House is con­tend­ing with. Ac­cu­sa­tions have been lev­elled at Maimane by his po­lit­i­cal op­po­nents and crit­ics in the ANC that he is a rented black man, who had no real po­lit­i­cal au­thor­ity and that he was parachuted into the lead­er­ship po­si­tion on cos­metic grounds.

With­out any doubt, Zille’s rock-star be­hav­iour can serve only to give cre­dence to the ac­cu­sa­tions. What should Zille do? The an­swer is easy. I can say to her as some­one who can speak Xhosa: “Ixe­sha lokuhamba li­fik­ile. Hamba Ngoku.” Sim­ply put, the time for Zille to go has come and that time is now.

For her to con­tinue putting up an un­nec­es­sary fight over her in­sen­si­tive tweet and in the process ex­pose the party she claims to love to such po­lit­i­cal da­m­age tells a story of some­one hell-bent on soil­ing her legacy.

There is noth­ing good about colo­nial­ism, es­pe­cially if you un­der­stand that apartheid came as a di­rect off­spring of the colo­nial­ism you so des­per­ately try to de­fend.

Be­fore you know it, Madam Zille, you will be re­mem­bered as an­other white leader who de­fended colo­nial­ism (and by ex­ten­sion apartheid) rather than a feisty jour­nal­ist who ex­posed the bru­tal man­ner in which Steve Biko died at the hands of the apartheid po­lice. Hamba sisi be­fore you be­come a fur­ther po­lit­i­cal li­a­bil­ity to your party. High­veld, Cen­tu­rion


OVERSTAYING: For West­ern Cape Premier He­len Zille to put up a fight over her in­sen­si­tive tweet and in the process ex­pose the DA to po­lit­i­cal da­m­age shows she’s hell-bent on soil­ing her legacy.

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