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People Are Trolling This South African Politician After She Said Colonialism Wasn’t All Bad

And she is now facing a disciplinary process by her own party.

Posted on March 16, 2017, at 12:49 p.m. ET

Meet Helen Zille, the former leader of Democratic Alliance, South main opposition party, and the current premier of Western Cape.

Marco Longari / AFP / Getty Images

On Thursday, Zille unleashed a series of controversial tweets, trying to sell some of the "pros" of colonialism.

For those claiming legacy of colonialism was ONLY negative, think of our independent judiciary, transport infrastructure, piped water etc.

Twitter: @http://Twitter.com/

Would we have had a transition into specialised health care and medication without colonial influence? Just be honest, please.

When some South Africans tried to confirm if she was justifying 300 years of British and Dutch rule, which laid the groundwork for apartheid, Zille specified a few more of the "not bad" aspects of it.

@KeletsoMopai @ubuntusalaam1 Hospitals, piped water, medications, independent judiciary, transport infrastructure to name a few.

She then let her 1.08 million followers know she was getting on a plane to Singapore, a country which, she added, had also benefitted from colonialism.

Some South Africans decided to respond to her directly.

Before the colonialists came was there no water, no form of justice,no form of medicine in former colonies? There were. systems which worked

There was some masterful reverse trolling.

People: Colonialism was bad. Helen Zellie: but we now have fish and chips, you never had fish and chips before.

Some people kindly pointed out that it's not like Africans and their descendants couldn't have figured out these things without colonialism...

In fact, quite the opposite...

She also got a brief history lesson of Africa that hadn't been white-washed.

The main reason we even have a "third world" today is b/c of colonialism, imperialism and yt supremacy (Thread) https://t.co/V3KjOoBLca

Like the richest man in history was from modern-day Mali, in west Africa.

The richest human being in history. An African. Before colonialism

And successful Caesarean sections were being performed in Uganda prior to colonialism.

@samirasawlani An account of a Caesarean section in Uganda in 1879 https://t.co/PucT7vJkWY

Zille did have some supporters. Like this dude, who praised medical discoveries resulting from human experimentation in Nazi Germany.

Zille, who is of Jewish descent, was quick to shut down that argument, leading others to point out her own hypocrisy.

South Africa remains one of the world’s most unequal societies more than two decades after the end of apartheid. That legacy means black South Africans still lag behind their white counterparts in terms of access to employment, education and healthcare."

Ziller later said she apologized "unreservedly" and had not meant to defend colonialism. Zille is now facing a disciplinary process by her own party, which has recently been fighting to shrug off being seen as a party for white South Africans.

The Democratic Alliance has grappled with other high-profile racially-charged incidents with Zille, who stepped down in 2015, when the party appointed a black leader for the first time.

Last year, one of its party members was charged in court after a Facebook post in which she referred to black people as "monkeys" went viral. In the same year, a senior white judge faced public criticism after making racist comments about black culture and rape.

The overall feeling seemed to be that when people start backing up your argument with Hitler, this is the best way to respond.

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