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[MY TAKE] Helen Zille’s apology in a playlist

Last week Helen Zille, the woman who won’t let us forget she was the first to report on Steve Biko’s death (because that’s what journalists do), apologised for her offensive tweets earlier this year.

After a several month long back and forth about whether she should or shouldn’t part ways with the Democratic Alliance, or be banned or shunned etc. the party and the Western Cape premier reached a political settlement. Zille’s involvement and work with the DA will be confined to the Western Cape premiership. Unfortunately, she will not be confined to a closet without Wifi connection where she will be unable to tweet in defence of colonialism.

Twitter naturally went into a rage in response to the apology for two main reasons:

  1. Helen Zille is untouchable

  2. Mmusi Maimane willingly and ignorantly allowed his reputation and the reputation of the party to be tainted by a “white madam”.

Twitter users also made the same joke quoting the same song: Helen “It’s too late to apologise”.

This made me think about the multitude of songs Zille herself could quote in response.

Herewith, Zille’s list of top 5 sorry songs:

1. Hard to say I’m sorry by Chicago. No one knows this more than Zille.

2. Sorry seems to be the hardest word by Elton John. Because, well, it was.

3. Hello by Adele. I’m guessing/hoping she probably considered calling at one stage.

4. Sorry by Justin Bieber. Is it too late for Helen to say sorry? Never. Not when it comes to the DA.

5. Jealous Guy by John Lennon. Or in Helen’s case, jealous woman. She didn’t mean to hurt you Maimane. She didn’t mean to make you cry.

Anyone of these would be more eloquent and well meaning than her apology as it stands, to be honest. I wish she would subscribe to iTunes. I also wish she would subscribe to a newsletter offering her basic etiquette rules for social media.

As for Maimane, we can only hope the DA’s leader hits pause on Helen’s playlist the next time the premier messes up and sings a tune of his own. Like maybe P!nk’s U + Ur Hand (Tonight):

“I'm not here for your entertainment

You don't really wanna mess with me tonight

Just stop and take a second

I was fine before you walked into my life”

Haji Mohamed Dawjee is a commentator on gender equality, sexuality, culture, race relations and feminism as well as ethics in the South African media environment.

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