HELEN ZILLE: 'I apologise for my offensive public utterances'
'I have made public utterances that have had the effect of undermining the Leader of the Democratic Alliance and the project he is leading. I greatly regret this.'
Apology by Helen Zille:
After a period of debate and reflection, I recognise the offence caused by my tweet on 16 March 2017 with regard to the legacy of colonialism. I therefore apologise unreservedly to the South African public who were offended by this tweet and my subsequent explanation of it.
In South Africa, colonialism and apartheid subjugated and oppressed a majority, and benefitted a minority, on the basis of race. This is indeed indefensible, and I do not support, justify, praise or promote it.
I realise the wounds of history that my tweet and subsequent defence of it has opened. In particular, I recognise that my actions were insensitive to South Africans who suffered under colonial oppression. For this, I am genuinely sorry.
During this period I have made public utterances that have had the effect of undermining the Leader of the Democratic Alliance and the project he is leading. I greatly regret this. Mmusi Maimane is the democratically elected Leader of the DA and we must all get behind his leadership.
My intention now is to do everything I can to restore the public trust that has been eroded. Now, more than ever, we need to unite behind a shared vision of one nation, with one future.