DA caucus throws out public protector report on Zille

(Delwyn Verasamy/M&G)

(Delwyn Verasamy/M&G)

The Democratic Alliance (DA) in the Western Cape legislature has thrown out Public Protector Busisiwe Mkhwebane’s report on Premier Helen Zille’s colonialism tweets, saying it is not within the jurisdiction of the provincial legislature to deal with the matter.

On Wednesday, Western Cape DA chief whip Mark Wiley dismissed the report saying the public protector misunderstood the law.

Mkhwebane had found Zille guilty of racism after the premier extolled the virtues of colonialism in a series of tweets last year. The public protector said the provincial speaker should table her report on Zille before the legislature so that action can be taken.

READ MORE: Mkhwebane: Zille must be held to account for colonialism tweet

Instead her report has effectively been thrown out, Wiley said.

“Unfortunately the public protector seems to have given the impression that she has lodged her documents regarding Premier Zille’s tweet with the Western Cape legislature. Unfortunately, it’s not our jurisdiction,” Wiley said.

Mkhwebane had said in her remedial action that the legislature must hold Zille to account for the tweets. Opposition parties in the house are yet to respond to the DA’s move to dismiss the report, but it was Khaya Magaxa, who sits on the ANC bench in the legislature, who initially lodged the complaint about the tweets with the public protector.

Zille has countered the public protector’s findings against her, saying Mkhwebane does not understand the Constitution. She confirmed she is taking the report on judicial review.

Ra'eesa Pather

Ra'eesa Pather

Ra’eesa Pather is a general news journalist with the Mail & Guardian’s online team. She cut her teeth at The Daily Vox in Cape Town before moving to Johannesburg and joining the M&G. She's written about memory, race and gender in columns and features, and has dabbled in photography. Read more from Ra'eesa Pather

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