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Helen Zille will this week step down as the premier of the Western Cape, as the new provincial and national legislatures are sworn in.
#ThankYouHelen trended for much of Tuesday evening into Wednesday after the DA’s Renaldo Gouws urged users to post tweets of thanks to the premier behind the “best province in the country”.
Tomorrow @HelenZille will be replaced as the Premier of the Western Cape. We must show her our gratitude by running the best province in the country as well as never backing down and always fighting for what is right! Let’s make the hashtag #ThankYouHelen trend. Post a tweet! pic.twitter.com/9RzgcqPuSd
— Renaldo Gouws 🇿🇦 (@RenaldoGouws) May 21, 2019
Some obliged, noting that Zille has “truly been the best Premier in SA”.
@helenzille was the Premier for the majority of my basic education years, so it does feel weird to see her go. Her resolve as well as her mission to ensure that the truth prevails will always be her greatest legacies. You have truly been the best Premier in SA. #ThankYouHelen https://t.co/LBIczeKYlf
— Luke Albert (@LukeAlbert12) May 22, 2019
Best run province the country will ever see… Thank you Helen.
— Deon Jooste (@deonj45) May 21, 2019
#ThankYouHelen Best Politician SA has had in the last 15 years,by FAR 🥂
— Chris Joubert (@ChrisJo52393209) May 21, 2019
— Gillian Price (@Gillian_Price) May 21, 2019
#ThankYouHelen for what you have done and accomplished in South Africa, for our Democracy and ALL our people. And thank you for what you are still doing and still will do as I am sure your fight is not over. The @Our_DA will never be the same again. @helenzille
— Marius J (@MariusJ1701) May 22, 2019
Others however used the hashtag with a critical tongue, lashing Zille for her controversial tweets and for “sparking racial tensions” in the country. More recently, her opinions on “black privilege” came to the fore on social media, and users were sure to latch onto these comments.
#ThankYouHelen Zille for sparking racial tensions in our beloved Republic
— Hosi Nghunghunyani (@irvingsithole) May 22, 2019
“You remain a true and proud racist who is not ready to let go of colonial legacies. You’ve represented the genealogy quite remarkably,” read one tweet.
#ThankYouHelen for refusing to wear the musk @MmusiMaimane is wearing. You remain a true and proud racist who is not ready to let go of colonial legacies. You’ve represented the genealogy quite remarkably. Let’s have tea, I guess @ThuliMadonsela3 joins us at tea.
— Moses Moreroa (@MoreroaMoses) May 22, 2019
— Leg3nd Me (@Leg3ndMe) May 22, 2019
— LassY|🇿🇦 (@PsychoKindness) May 22, 2019
She failed to transform the lives of black people in WC, a pro white privileged old woman #ThankYouHelen for going
— Odisang 💦 🇿🇦 (@OdiLosaba) May 21, 2019
The DA’s Alan Winde will take her place for the next two years at least, but while Zille may no longer be the head of the province, she’ll unlikely take a break from Twitter anytime soon.
Helen Zille’s lengthy Twitter twars
This isn’t the first time Helen Zille has trended on her favourite social network this year either. In March, Danny K was involved in a spat with the politician after he called out the “lack of empathy” shown by “white South Africans”.
More famously, in January 2018, Zille remarked that there were some beneficial offshoots at the hands of colonialism, including “piped water”.