Helen Zille Nicknamed ‘Donald Trump of SA Twitter’ as She Tweets Colonialism Remarks

Western Cape Premier and former Democratic Alliance (DA) leader, Helen Zille, has caused another Twitterstorm as she tweets her views on the ways in which South Africa benefited from colonialism.

Several Twitter members – including Eusabius McKaiser – called on current DA leader Mmusi Maimane to comment following Zille’s tweets which included “Would we have had a transition into specialised health care and medication without colonial influence? Just be honest, please.”

Social media user ‘Baconista’ declared: “Helen Zille is the Donald Trump of South African Twitter.”

Zille’s comments began as she was comparing Singapore – an incredibly successful country, with South Africa.

She said: “Much to learn from Singapore, colonised for as long as SA, and under brutal occupation in WW2. Can we apply the lessons in our democracy?”

She then went on to list several reasons for Singapore’s success including parents take responsibility for children and “build on valuable aspects of colonial heritage”.

Zille said: “For those claiming legacy of colonialism was ONLY negative, think of our independent judiciary, transport infrastructure, piped water etc.”

As furious Tweeters responded to her comments, Zille – who was at the airport – tweeted: “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.”

All went quiet for an hour or so… however South African Airways (SAA) had a technical fault and Zille’s plane has not yet taken off.

About an hour ago she tweeted: “I apologise unreservedly for a tweet that may have come across as a defence of colonialism. It was not.”

Ten minutes later she retweeted a comment from Maimane: “Let’s make this clear: Colonialism, like Apartheid, was  a system of oppression and subjugation. It can never be justified.”

About 20 minutes later Zille added in a tweet back to Maimane and another user: “And anyway I never justified colonialism. I apologise if my tweet read that way.”

In other replies she tweeted to those complaining about her remarks, Zille said: “There is NO JUSTIFICATION FOR SLAVERY, RACISM OR OPPRESSION.  Stop deliberately twisting my words” and said her words were being distorted. “I have fought racism and all the negative aspects of colonialism.”

There is one difference between Zille’s Twitter habits and Trump’s. She does apologise.