Apologise for branding black privilege as licence to loot: Thuli Madonsela to Helen Zille
Former public protector Thuli Madonsela on Friday called for controversial former DA leader Helen Zille to withdraw and apologise for comments that "black privilege" was looting and getting re-elected.
"To brand blacks as looters and political pretenders is wrong. Please withdraw and apologise," said Madonsela to Zille on Twitter.
Madonsela's plea comes after Zille once again took to social media to express her often-controversial and divisive views. This latest comment has been labelled racist.
The war of words started after a Twitter user posted a video defining what "white privilege" was. Zille was quick to jump in and question why the speaker had used English to express her sentiments.
SA actor Hlomla Dandala, in defence of the speaker, said: "Occasionally, you say some really daft things, European Helen in Africa …"
Dandala accused another user of failing to understand what white privilege was after being asked why he wore a suit, suggesting he should not be critiquing colonialism while wearing something associated with colonial influence.
"You clearly don’t understand white privilege. We had plenty technology here that was eroded/annihilated by colonialism. You did us zero favours by colonising us,” said Dandala.
Zille quickly jumped in to counter Dandala's argument, saying he did not "understand black privilege".
"Well you clearly don’t understand black privilege. It is being able to loot a country and steal hundreds of billions and get re-elected. If [people] want permanent poverty for the masses they are going about it the right way," she said.
"My point is that racial generalizations work both ways. If you can generalize about 'white privilege' there are plenty of generalizations that can be made about 'black privilege'," said Zille.
The comment has since sparked outrage, with Madonsela condemning the sentiments.
"Dear @helenzille white privilege is universal and comes with the premium the world places on whiteness plus accumulated historical advantages. To equate it with black privilege is myopic.
"To brand blacks as looters and political pretenders is wrong. Please withdraw and apologize," tweeted Madonsela.
Another Twitter user, Zaida Dalvie, said if Zille's sentiments were correct it would have meant that all black people benefited from looting.
"If that was #blackprivilege then All black people would of benefited from corruption only the ones who stole benefited from corruption. All of the white people continue to benefit from systems set out by apartheid that is #WhitePrivilege," she said.
looting & corruption is only a black thing 😳🙆🏾♀️ using looting & corruption to define ‘black privilege’ and using it to deflate from from what white privilege is .... well, well this is unfortunately what we have come to expect from your types 🤯 https://t.co/1iS3dIFLYq— IG: LeighMathys (@LeighMathys) May 17, 2019
My point, clever one, is that racial generalizations work both ways. If you can generalize about "white privilege" there are plenty of generalizations that can be made about "black privilege". I'm sure you can grasp that point. NO??— Helen Zille (@helenzille) May 17, 2019