Western Cape Premier Helen Zille has turned on her own party‚ saying that the Democratic Alliance risks falling prey to “African racial nationalism”.
Zille‚ former leader of the DA‚ caused a storm last week after she suggested on Twitter that colonialism had contributed positively to modern South Africa.
The DA then instituted disciplinary proceedings against Zille‚ who has since apologised for offending fellow South Africans.
But on Monday Zille fought back in a column published by news website Daily Maverick.
“‘Speaking while white’ is considered the ultimate sin‚ in terms of the increasingly popular ideology called ‘critical race theory’‚” Zille said.
“The real danger is that the DA‚ in its quest for votes‚ may start to swallow every tenet‚ myth and shibboleth of African racial-nationalist propaganda‚ including the scape-goating of minorities‚ populist mobilisation and political patronage.”
Zille is currently being investigated by her party and might face charges after she tweeted on Thursday: “For those claiming legacy of colonialism was ONLY negative‚ think of our independent judiciary‚ transport infrastructure‚ piped water etc.”
A second tweet read: “Would we have had a transition into specialised health care and medication without colonial influence? Just be honest‚ please.”
The tweets drew wide-ranging criticism.
Members of her own party‚ including DA leader Mmusi Maimane‚ distanced themselves from Zille’s remarks.
In her column this week‚ the former DA leader said South Africans paid lip service to equal citizenship and that every opinion was judged on the basis of the colour of the person who expressed it.
She said institutionalised corruption would be next.
“If this were to happen‚ it will be irrelevant whether we win or lose elections‚ because we will no longer offer an alternative. That is why these debates are not a diversion. It is essential to have them‚” she added.
Zille said her tweets had been inspired by a trip to Singapore‚ where she had witnessed how former prime minister Lee Kuan Yew had “generally used the legacy of colonialism to his advantage”.
“While travel broadens the mind‚ I tend to forget that‚ on returning to South Africa‚ it is best to shrink your mind again to fit the contours of political correctness. Especially if you are white.”