Helen Zille loses court application against Busisiwe Mkhwebane report on colonialism tweets

05 November 2019 - 16:43 By Kgaugelo Masweneng
Helen Zille’s application was dismissed with costs, to be paid up to the point she vacated office as Western Cape premier.
Helen Zille’s application was dismissed with costs, to be paid up to the point she vacated office as Western Cape premier.
Image: Trevor Samson/© Business Day

The North Gauteng high court has dismissed an application by former Western Cape premier Helen Zille to have the report by public protector Busisiwe Mkhwebane on her colonialism tweets set aside.

Mkhwebane has welcomed the decision.

According to her office, the public protector found in June 2018 that Zille’s tweet “for those claiming the legacy of colonialism was ONLY negative, think of our independent judiciary, transport, infrastructure, piped water etc” was in violation of the executive code of ethics.  

In a statement Oupa Segalwe, acting public protector spokesperson, said the finding followed a complaint by Khaya Magaxa of the Western Cape provincial legislature, who had alleged, among other things, that Zille had failed to act in a manner that was consistent with the integrity of the high office she occupied.

Mkhwebane's office said acting Judge Malebo Habedi dismissed Zille’s application with costs — to be paid up to the point she vacated office as premier.

Habedi found that Zille failed to establish sufficient grounds for the review, that the public protector had properly reasoned her findings and remedial action, and that those reasons were sufficient to substantiate the findings, Mkhwebane's office said.

“I’m pleased with the judgment. I continue to call on members of the executive, both at national and provincial levels, to take time and understand the provisions of the EMEA and the code of ethics,” Mkhwebane said.



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