– Lia Snijman. 

As Helen Zille has once again made a controversial tweet and other members of her party, such as Mbali Ntuli, have started calling for her to leave the party, Stellenbosch’s DA has remained silent on whether there will be consequences for local councillor Rozette du Toit after she shared a racist post on Facebook.

Melt Botes, the DA’s Western Cape spokesperson, said on 28 May that the case regarding Du Toit’s post had been directed to the Provincial Executive Committee for further investigation, but noted that they cannot comment further on the matter. On 9 June he was asked about feedback on the Du Toit case and on 12 June he passed along a message from minister Anton Bredell, DA MEC of Local Government, Environmental Affairs and Development Planning for the Western Cape.

Bredell said that the investigation has to be led by the local Speaker. He said that due to the pandemic people cannot move around as they wish and that they cannot attach a time to the investigation as they do not control the legal system. In his response he did not comment about the DA’s internal investigation, preferring to leave the matter to the Speaker of Stellenbosch Municipality.
Stellenbosch’s Speaker, Nyaniso Jindela of the DA, did not respond to an email requesting comment.

Stellenbosch’s Mayor, Gesie van Deventer, has refused to comment. She claims that she wants and has to respect the separation of powers. She requested that we ask the Speaker if the case is with him. “I really think it is very important that I do not make political statements.” She deflected any further questions about this matter by asking whether StellenboschNews.com would write about gender-based violence (GBV) as we do about racism. StellenboschNews.com published a long form article on GBV by Luke Walthalm on 19 June and will be covering the anti-GBV memorial on 27 June.

For those lucky enough to not be on Twitter, Zille recently tweeted: “Lol, there are more racist laws today than there were under apartheid. All racist laws are wrong. But permanent victimhood is too highly prized to recognise this.” This tweet has been criticised by the Nelson Mandela Foundation, constitutional law experts and even the DA itself, with John Steenhuisen as interim leader saying that he does not think Zille’s tweet is truthful. Two public representatives of the DA, namely party MP Hlanganani Gumbi and Gauteng MPL Khume Ramulifho, have filed complaints against her for “a possible breach of the DA digital media policy and the party’s constitution”, according to TimesLive. Steenhuisen confirmed that they have referred the case to their federal legal commission.