HELEN ZILLE OR HELEN THE GREAT?
Helen Zille is hated by many and has been loved by many too. The former Mayor of Cape Town has been painted, recently as a controversial figure. Over her comments on colonialism and many other things, which in part were only offensive because of our current era of people being offended on things that would not be deemed offensive a few years ago. Calling Eastern Capers “refugees” a term which is not offensive and simply highlights in truth, given that the Eastern Cape is amongst the poorest provinces in South Africa. And it only makes sense if people from the Eastern Cape come to provinces like the Western Cape. Like refugees do when they leave, they war torn country or where they are persecuted to more peaceful countries.
“refugee” is not a derogatory term and never has. And her statement that colonialism brought some positives, which if one is objective will say is true. It does not ignore the evils of colonialism, but it acknowledges also the good. It’s a truth of human nature, in human history more powerful nations have colonialised less powerful nations, from the Romans to bantu migration etc.
Now, Helen Zille has many faults and what cannot also be denied which is, is that when she was a mayor of Cape Town the City was reborn and thrived and so did her party, the DA. The numbers do not lie and her return to restore the DA to is upward trajectory after its losses in the last election, shows there has been an increase with the departure of Maimane. As per the article by Jackie Cameron.
To call her a racist does not make sense, being that she changed the DA party from what could be argued to be a white party to a party representing the South African nations. By allowing leaders like Maimane in; she was an anti-apartheid activist and rose to fame by reporting Steve Biko was murdered when she was a journalist. But her critics and the South African media ignore these facts at times, suffering from Amnesia. Double standards allow her counterparts like Julius Malema to make racist statements and get away with them. Nonetheless, for all her evils and its good when power (Helen Zille) is kept on its toes, in order for balance. To deny her achievements when criticizing is foolish. Helen Zille is a hardy woman that should be given more credit then she is given.