Academic: Helen Zille’s tweets completely out of place

Stellenbosch University academic Collette Shulz-Herzenberg says the Democratic Alliance needs to prove it is progressive in the way in which it handles the matter.

FILE: A file photo shows Western Cape Premier Helen Zille  at the IEC's provincial results centre on 4 August 2016. Picture: Aletta Harrison/EWN.

CAPE TOWN - The fate of Western Cape Premier Helen Zille remains unclear.

She landed herself in trouble with tweets she recently posted on colonialism.

At the weekend, the party's federal legal commission finalised its report on the issue, this has now been handed over to the federal executive for a decision.

Meanwhile, a Stellenbosch University academic says the Democratic Alliance (DA) needs to prove it is progressive in the way in which it handles the matter.

Dr Collette Shulz-Herzenberg says Zille's tweets were entirely out of place.

“Whilst this may be an academically interesting argument, and it may or may not have its merits, this is a debate for historians. This does not have any place in electoral politics in South Africa right now.”

The committee assigned to determine whether the premier's tweets breached the DA’s constitution was handed over to the federal executive for consideration on Saturday.

It's unclear when the party will address the report as it's understood at least one key member of the executive is currently out of the country.

Shulz-Herzenberg says the important thing now is that the party "divorce" itself from the rhetoric reflected in Zille's tweets.

“It's really up to the leadership of the DA to show that this is not a party that celebrates any part of a colonial or apartheid history, it's a party that's really focused on broadening progressive policies.”

(Edited by Shimoney Regter)