I am pleased to see the DA has finally resolved the Helen Zille matter, and positively in what appears to be a constructive manner. What is somewhat disappointing is that it took so long.
The response to the Zille tweet was reflective of a wide range of views across the social spectrum, with some suggesting the tweet is indefensible, while others have suggested the response is reflective of our society’s excessive sensitivity to our history.
There is often a chasm between intent and impact. I have no doubt that Zille did not intend to offend with her tweet. Clearly, she did.
If only we were all a little more focused on how we engage with each other and adequately attuned to the impact we have on each other, we may be able to heal the wounds of our brutal past, which has left us all with scars.
What is surprising is that someone like Zille, with a long history of fighting injustice and having devoted much of her life to creating an inclusive society took so long to say, "I am sorry, my remarks have clearly caused offence. Regardless of my intent, I acknowledge, that as a white South African I cannot possibly fully understand the impact of my insensitive comments and I apologise without reservation".
Zille can continue to play a positive role in society, but it is only when white South Africans acknowledge that we cannot fully understand the extent of the apartheid legacy and we remain consciously aware of this in our daily engagements, that we can create a truly inclusive society.
Well done to Mmusi Maimane for showing true leadership in standing up to Zille, while not seeking retribution for what was a needless, ignorant and insensitive tweet.