Zille apologises for colonialism tweet‚ steps down from party leadership structures

Western Cape Premier Helen Zille has apologised for her offensive tweet about colonialism.

She made the apology at a joint media briefing with Democratic Alliance leader Mmusi Maimane in Johannesburg on Tuesday.

Maimane confirmed that Zille would no longer participate in any party leadership structures but would remain premier of the Western Cape.

In March‚ Zille said on Twitter: “For those claiming legacy of colonialism was ONLY negative‚ think of our independent judiciary‚ transport infrastructure‚ piped water.”

But on Tuesday she acknowledged that her comments were insensitive to those who had suffered under colonialism.

“Her acknowledgement is a huge step forward and it’s important that she is offering South Africans full acknowledgement and an apology‚” said Maimane.

The parties reached a settlement to avoid a protracted and damaging battle.

Zille has agreed to step back from all political party work‚ except as Western Cape Premier.

This is a developing story.

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