Gauteng Premier David Makhura has waded into the national discussion on colonialism following tweets by former DA leader Helen Zille that not all of it was bad, saying there was nothing good about the oppressive system.
"We want a South Africa that will share resources, where there is no racism, xenophobia, unemployment and poverty. We don't want leaders who believe that colonialism was good — [because] colonialism was bad," Makhura told hundreds of people gathered at a Human Rights Day event in Sharpeville, where 69 people were killed by the apartheid government in 1960.
To those who thought colonialism was good he said: "I invite them to come to Sharpeville and speak to the families of those people who died on that day. There was nothing good about apartheid, colonialism and imperialism."
Zille caused an uproar on social media when she last week tweeted that not every aspect of European colonialism was bad.
"For those claiming legacy of colonialism was only negative, think of our independent judiciary, transport infrastructure, piped water etc," she wrote.
"Getting onto an aeroplane now and won't get onto the Wi-Fi so that I can cut off those who think EVERY aspect of colonial legacy was bad."
She later apologised and said her tweets were not intended as a defence of colonialism.
On xenophobia, Makhura said: "We don't want leaders who... agitate communities to attack each other. We want a country where we can live together in peace."
Makhura said he wanted to see a country where every human had dignity, and where no race feels superior to the other.
He thanked the Pan Africanist Congress for setting its political differences aside and spending the day with the ANC led government.
"We must remember that on this day the PAC and ANC had organised action, but our people were killed, 69 of them, when we remember them we must not fight.
"We will never forget their sacrifices. We have come together to commemorate the selfless contributions of those who died on this day."
He invited other political parties to join in the event next year.
"We want a South Africa in which black and white can live together as equals in unity, diversity but also share all the resources.
"We don't want a country where the youth is being fed nyaope... We don't want drugs in our communities."
He said those providing drugs to communities should be fined and jailed.
"They are criminals whether they are South Africans or not."
To the young people, he said he wanted an educated youth.
"We want youth that will pass well at school and have resources from the government so that they can go to university. The youth are our future and if you destroy our youth, you destroy the city.
He called on Africans to work together and "not kill each other".
Sharpeville in a bad state
He said Sedibeng and Sharpeville needed to be prioritised in terms of economic development.
"It is time to pay attention to the West Rand and Sedibeng. The business people in Sedibeng also want opportunities for business"
He said Sharpeville was in a bad state.
"The roads, the infrastructure, the houses are old, this is one of the oldest townships in the country."
He said next year he would give the community feedback on progress made towards upgrading the townships.
"If we do not deliver, then there is no need for you to vote for us and neither should we be in government. We are not in government for ourselves, we are in government for the people.
"If we are not addressing the problems of the people then we should not be in government. If your councillor's mayors or premiers are not working for the people, then they should not be in government."
He said the Life Esidimeni tragedy where more than 100 mentally ill patients died after being moved to unlicensed NGO's, should never not happen again.
"The mentally ill should be our priority," Makhura said.Suggest a correction