DA distances itself from Zille over Twitter row with RMF activist

The Democratic Alliance (DA) wants nothing to do with a controversial tweet by Western Cape Premier Helen Zille, which has caused a Twitter storm yesterday.

A tweet by student activist Brian Kamanzi went viral on Wednesday night when he slammed Zille for saying that students who hate the University of Cape Town should have their funding withdrawn.

Zille posted the controversial tweet just hours after polling stations closed for the municipal elections.

She was apparently miffed at a series of articles published in the Cape Argus, written by students affiliated to the #FeesMustFall movement.

The group wrote about the current democratic climate, questioning whether they should vote or not, and referred to UCT as their “reluctant home”.

Zille shared a picture of the article, saying: “If this woke bunch hate being UCT students so much, pls help them out of their misery and withdraw their funding.”(sic)

CONTROVERSIAL: Premier Helen Zille’s tweet

The students, and the rest of Twitter, accused her of not having empathy for the thousands of students who participated in the #FeesMustFall campaign, which called for a halt to fee increases, free tertiary education and an end to institutionalised racism.

@ShuaibManjra (Proteas team doctor) told Zille: “You ignore the black experience while wallowing in your historical & current privilege. if only u took the time to speak to them.”

Kamanzi said the tweets formed part of a “co-ordinated attack” on their movement.

“She’s weaponising fees, when in fact, we have been talking about this for the better part of a year.”

In response to the Cape Argus queries, Zille said: “You may write whatever you like, I’m sleeping.”

The DA says it does not support the withdrawal of funding and that students should feel free to voice their opinions.