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South African Politician Investigated for Tweet About Benefits of Colonialism

Helen Zille will remain the leader of the Western Cape during the internal party probe. PHOTO: AFP/Getty

Helen Zille wrote colonialism had given the country ‘independent judiciary, transport infrastructure, piped water’

2 April 2017

THE GUARDIAN (AFP) — South Africa’s main opposition party said on Sunday that it has charged a provincial leader with misconduct after she tweeted that colonialism had brought benefits including clean water.

Helen Zille, former leader of the Democratic Alliance (DA) and the current premier of the Western Cape, could be expelled for the tweet which unleashed fierce criticism from her own party and opponents. She will remain the leader of the Western Cape during the internal party investigation.

Zille later wrote that she was not defending colonialism and apologised for the tweet.

DA leader Mmusi Maimane, who is black, told a press briefing in Cape Town that disciplinary proceedings had begun against Zille, who is white – but that she would not be suspended during the investigation. […]

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