NEWS

We Decoded Zille's Colonialism Tweets So You Can Send It To Those Who Still Don't Get It

The former DA leader urged South Africans to see a positive side of colonialism too.

16/03/2017 09:39 SAST | Updated 16/03/2017 12:46 SAST

ANALYSIS

Western Cape Premier Helen Zille was returning from Singapore on Thursday morning and found herself bored in an airport lounge with a television that wasn't working. It was clearly a great time to get some debate going on Twitter again.

The correlation between colonialism and industrialisation was her topic of choice before jetting off. After getting off the plane, she tweeted an apology for the tweets that "may have come across as a defence of colonialism".

This is not the first time the Democratic Alliance member has offended people with tweets about race and did not get into trouble with her party over it. Yet some came to Zille's defence over the comments.

So for those of you tired of hearing the same ahistorical ideas about colonialism spewed about, we decoded the tweets so you don't have to keep explaining yourself.

Zille's tweet:

What she might have meant: Yes white people settled here a bit violently and exploited black people to build white people nice things, but why can't black people just be grateful? Black people also don't know how to do justice.

Her time in Singapore clearly made her think. This is what came before that tweet:

What she might have meant: Why don't you guys just stop being lazy and work a bit, be more multicultural and make the language of the coloniser the one official language?

Her train of thought was interrupted for a short while to allow her to rage about first world problems:

What she might have meant: Back in Africa and nothing ever works and nobody cares. Also, this is Ekurhuleni and the ANC is still in power here. Doubly worse.

This is the way she explained her tweet of colonialism isn't all bad:

What she might have meant: Western medicine is best of course. When the white people arrived there was nothing but a bunch of savages in this dump. We made it all good.

Then the trolling got a little bit bad and the plane was waiting:

What she might have meant: Troll all you like, I can't HEAR you!

By the time her plane landed less than an hour later (or, if she was on a two-hour flight back to Cape Town her emergency password-holder person must have hacked into her account to do this):

What she might have meant: I'm sorry that y'all got angry at me. (But really I'm doing this because Mmusi told me to do this otherwise he'd fire my ass.)

DA leader Mmusi Maimane must have gotten a few phone calls in the meantime as well asking what the DA's official policy on colonialism is, because this is what he tweeted (a few minutes after the above apology):

And now Zille knows it too.