As a debate over Helen Zille's use of the word 'refugees' in relation to the education crisis in the Eastern Cape raged on the social network site Twitter yesterday, an ANC provincial coordinator raised eyebrows by calling her a 'racist bitch!!!!!'.
The tweet by ANC Western Cape provincial coordinator Senzeni Mphila, whose Twitter name is @The6big read: "@helenzille racist bitch!!!!!".
His tweet followed her post on Twitter saying: "When I make the point that most pupils in Eastern Cape schools are SADTU's hostages, there is no outcry. Why? #missingachance", with the use of the hashtag indicating an existing or suggested subject thread.
Zille's remarks on Twitter that Eastern Cape pupils were moving to schools in the Western Cape in order to access better educational resources, and calling them 'education refugees' on Tuesday sparked fierce debate on radio talkshows and social network sites such as Facebook and Twitter, with Mphila's reaction being particularly personal.
Asked why he called Zille a "racist bitch" on a public site, Mphila said: "She is racist and is behaving like a bitch."
Mphila said what Zille said - calling black people who had moved from the Eastern Cape to the Western Cape refugees - "confirms that the DA is racist".
Mphila said he tweeted that Zille is a racist bitch in his personal capacity, not as a member of the ANC but "as a concerned citizen".
Mphila said Zille had the "nerve" to look for votes from black people and then "call black people refugees".
Zille was not available to comment yesterday afternoon, but her spokesperson Zak Mbhele said the Premier "is not going to respond" to Mphila's tweet.