After President Jacob Zuma’s visit to some of the Knysna fire disaster areas on Thursday, Western Cape Premier Helen Zille said she thought the president, on a personal level, was empathetic and charming.
This is not the first time she addressed the president like that.
The former DA leader and Zuma and Zille were accompanied to the area – ravaged by fires fanned by gale-force winds last week – by Cooperative Governance Minister Des van Rooyen, DA provincial leader Bonginkosi Madikizela‚ as well as other officials.
The premier explained to Zuma the extent of the disaster, which resulted in 10 000 people being evacuated from their homes and several people killed.
Zille took to Twitter stating:
“As we walked through the ash and ruins he [Zuma] asked me how I was bearing up personally.”
Zille and Zuma were both well received by residents in the fire-affected areas. Some residents danced and sang with her. Zille said the experience was “totally heart-warming. The second-best moment of the last three months. The best was the birth of my grand-daughter,” she said in a later tweet.
The Western Cape government on Wednesday said it would release R75 million in emergency funding to assist with the damage in Knysna and other surrounding areas.
Some DA supporters are accusing Zile of disrespecting the party and its leader. Some said she can’t go about praising the same man everyone is fighting so hard to get out of office.