I will lead a tax revolt if corrupt are not jailed, Helen Zille says
But the ANC in the Western Cape says the premier's comments come perilously close to treason
Helen Zille is not going gently or saying goodnight when she steps down as Western Cape premier after the election.
Instead she is gearing up to rage against the dying of the light, repeating her threat on Saturday to lead a “tax revolt” if the Zondo commission into state capture does not result in prison sentences.
Ebrahim Rasool, the leader of the ANC election campaign in the Western Cape, said Zille was “sailing close to treason” by tweeting: “The ANC government has an Achilles heel. Honest taxpayers will not continue forking up billions to corruption.
"If this continues, I'm going to be the first to mobilise a tax strike to bring this government to its senses. Anyone who gives them another chance is an accomplice.”
Tweeting to her 1.4-million followers on Saturday, Zille said the “core statistic to digest if you want to understand SA” is that there are only 4.9-million taxpayers in a country with a population of about 57-million.
“I’m waiting to see how many people get prosecuted and land in jail in a reasonable amount of time after the Zondo commission,” she said.
“If they do not, just watch me. I will be organising the #TaxRevolt. I have tried the electoral route for years. Voters seem to like voting for corruption.
I'm waiting to see how many ppl get prosecuted and land in jail in a reasonable amount of time after the Zondo commission. If they do not, just watch me. I will be organising the #TaxRevolt. I have tried the electoral route for years. Voters seem to like voting for corruption. https://t.co/WNvDpPKND1— Helen Zille (@helenzille) January 26, 2019
“As I see it, this election is the last chance the voters have to vote against corruption. And it is clear — a vote for the ANC (even under Cyril) is a vote for corruption. If the voters fail the democracy test again, it’s time for additional methods. #TaxRevolt”
Former premier Rasool, who is in the running to return to Leeuwenhof if the ANC regains the Western Cape, said Zille should be investigated for suggesting a tax boycott.
“We call on her to withdraw this irresponsible statement and rather unite in action to grow SA. We also call on business leaders and workers leaders to repudiate her statement,’’ he said.
“Helen Zille has reached new levels of trying to sabotage our economy by publicly mooting a tax strike. While our president is at the World Economic Forum in Davos rallying support for our country and trying to encourage investment that will create more jobs, she makes her irresponsible statements. This is as close to treason as one can get.”
Helen Zille took to Twitter to say if those implicated in the state capture inquiry aren't prosecuted in a sensible amount of time, she would lead a tax revolt. Social media, however, did not look favourably on it, taking to Twitter to slam her tweets.