14/06/2017 07:08 SAST | Updated 14/06/2017 07:08 SAST

Helen Zille's Full Apology

The text of the apology the former leader of the DA agreed to and that she read out on Tuesday.

Pieter du Toit
Helen Zille, Western Cape premier, and Mmusi Maimane, DA leader, at a press conference on Tuesday, 13 June 2017 in Johannesburg.

After a period of debate and reflection, I recognise the offence caused by my tweet on the 16th of March 2017 with regards to the legacy of colonialism. I therefore apologise unreservedly to the South African public who were offended by this tweet and my subsequent explanation of it.

In South Africa colonialism and apartheid subjugated and oppressed the majority and benefited a minority on the basis of race. This is indeed indefensible and I do not support, justify, praise or promote it in any way.

I realise the wounds of history that my tweet and subsequent defence of it has opened up. In particular I recognise that my actions were insensitive to South Africans who suffered under colonial oppression.

For this, I am genuinely sorry.

During this period, I have made public utterances that have had the effect of undermining the leader of the Democratic Alliance and the project that he is leading. I greatly regret this too. Mmusi Maimane is the democratically elected leader of the DA and we must all get behind his leadership.

My intention now is to do everything I can to restore public trust that has been eroded. Now, more than ever, we need to unite behind a shared vision of one nation with one future.