Wednesday, 14 June 2017
HELEN ZILLE: 'I apologise for my offensive public utterances'
'I have made public utterances that have had the effect of undermining the Leader of the Democratic Alliance and the project he is leading. I greatly regret this.'
South Africa’s Western Cape Premier Helen Zille insists her latest apology over her colonialism tweets is genuine - and admits she shouldn't have continued to defend her comments. The Democratic Alliance (DA) announced on Tuesday that Zille will vacate positions on all decision making structures of the party, including the federal executive, federal council and provincial council. The party suspended Zille last week after charging her with bringing the party into disrepute for her tweets defending certain aspects of colonialism. DA leader Mmusi Maimane says Helen Zille’s removal from decision-making structures is in the best interests of the party.
Apology by Helen Zille:
After a period of debate and reflection, I recognise the offence caused by my tweet on 16 March 2017 with regard to the legacy of colonialism. I therefore apologise unreservedly to the South African public who were offended by this tweet and my subsequent explanation of it.
In South Africa, colonialism and apartheid subjugated and oppressed a majority, and benefitted a minority, on the basis of race. This is indeed indefensible, and I do not support, justify, praise or promote it.
I realise the wounds of history that my tweet and subsequent defence of it has opened. In particular, I recognise that my actions were insensitive to South Africans who suffered under colonial oppression. For this, I am genuinely sorry.
During this period I have made public utterances that have had the effect of undermining the Leader of the Democratic Alliance and the project he is leading. I greatly regret this. Mmusi Maimane is the democratically elected Leader of the DA and we must all get behind his leadership.
My intention now is to do everything I can to restore the public trust that has been eroded. Now, more than ever, we need to unite behind a shared vision of one nation, with one future.