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South African opposition figure probed by own party after colonialism tweet

South Africa

Former South African main opposition leader Helen Zille will face a disciplinary process by her Democratic Alliance (DA) party after saying on Twitter on Thursday that the legacy of colonialism was not all negative.

“For those claiming legacy of colonialism was ONLY negative, think of our independent judiciary, transport infrastructure, piped water etc,” Zille, a white South African, said on Twitter.

The incident caused a public outcry, with critics saying Zille’s comments risked fanning the racial tensions that endure more than two decades after the end of apartheid rule. The ruling ANC denounced her words as reckless.

South Africa was colonised by the Dutch and the British for about 300 years. The country then experienced white minority rule under apartheid.

Zille, who is the premier of the Western Cape province, has apologised but her party leader condemned her comments.

The Democratic Alliance party has a strong following among white South Africans.

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