Zille to challenge Mkhwebane's 'irrational' findings on colonialism tweets

Her tweets in which she defended certain aspects of colonialism landed her in trouble, even with the Democratic Alliance (DA).

FILE: Western Cape Premier Helen Zille. Picture: AFP

PRETORIA - Public Protector Busisiwe Mkhwebane has found Western Cape Premier Helen Zille's tweets about colonialism violated the Constitution because it amounted to an incitement of imminent violence.

But Zille is to challenge the findings. Her tweets in which she defended certain aspects of colonialism landed her in trouble, even with the Democratic Alliance (DA).

WATCH: DA and Zille reach settlement around colonialism tweet

In the full report, advocate Mkhwebane draws a comparison between Zille’s colonialism remarks and an academic who was recently criticised for writing about the benefits of colonialism.

The advocate then cites a 2002 case in the European Court of Human Rights, where a cartoonist was convicted of condoning terrorism for lampooning the September 11 attacks in New York. Mkhwebane concludes that insensitive comments about colonialism in the South Africa could also provoke public reaction, like the offending European cartoon. The Public Protector explains there is a likelihood that Zille’s tweets could stir up violence based on race.

The African National Congress has responded to the Public Protector's findings and might bring another motion of no confidence in Zille. The ANC, which filed the complaint against Zille, says that it’s been vindicated by the Public Protector’s findings. Almost a year ago, the ANC lost a motion of no confidence in Zille over her tweets about colonialism. Party officials are now set to decide at a caucus meeting on Tuesday whether to bring another motion.

ANC Western Cape spokesperson Yonela Diko says: “It is likely when we bring a vote of no confidence against Helen Zille and the Speaker allows a secret ballot, Helen Zille will go."

Zille’s spokesperson Michael Mpofu says that Zille does not accept the Public Protector's finding.

“The premier has already informed the Public Protector that the finding is unlawful and irrational.”

[From the archives] LISTEN: Zille explains tweets on colonialism

(Edited by Shimoney Regter)