HELEN ZILLE: Business Day, not the DA, is the real loser
Selective demonisation in your editorial makes your newspaper the one which has lost
We all know apartheid was a crime against humanity. That is old news and many of us did as much as we could to fight it when it mattered.
Anyone who understands history also knows FW de Klerk made a major contribution to ending apartheid by delivering its legal death blow. He delivered what the vast majority of South Africans wanted.
Of course, apartheid’s legacy did not die with it. It was up to the ANC government, with its massive popular mandate, to address this effectively. Instead, the ANC’s cadre deployment policy produced a captured, corrupt and criminal state that is rapidly deindustrialising our country through institutional and infrastructural destruction.
We all know the EFF’s protest against De Klerk’s presence in the gallery was a red herring. But, as usual, it was a highly effective one. It emerged the winners because the media are intent on finding anything to distract attention from their fascist behaviour. On the night, the cameras slavishly followed every word of the “commander-in-chief”, even when he had left the chamber.
And in its editorial Business Day trumpeted “Malema wins” because of a single ambiguous tweet from Ghaleb Cachalia and a confined debate that followed on Twitter when the DA’s contesting electoral factions and a few hundred bots and sock-puppets took the gap and weaponised it (Malema the unexpected victor as DA scores own goal on apartheid, February 18).
Almost every South African is aware of the EFF’s grotesque antics. Not even 1% would be aware of the aggro over Cachalia’s tweet. Yet Business Day claims the latter has eradicated the impact of the former. You even managed to bring my retweet into it.
This is not only absurd. It is revealing. It tells us a lot about the real agendas at play here, both in terms of the DA’s internal electoral contests and among media commentators. The smallest perceived transgression on Twitter will be catastrophised and weaponised. The most grotesque hate speech will be overlooked. It all depends on the individuals involved.
Business Day’s editorial reveals such double standards and selective demonisation perfectly. You are the real losers.
• Zille is Chairperson of the DA federal council