History of the Nongqawuse and the great cattle-killing
According to SA history, the significance of the movement lies beyond just its periodical occurrence.
The mass cattle-killing happened while the Xhosa people were at war with well-equipped British settlers.
The movement was started when a Xhosa prophetess, Nongqawuse, claimed that if people killed all their cattle, abandoned witchcraft, incest and adultery, and destroyed their corn, their ancestors would rise from the dead to drive out the settlers.
In the aftermath of the killing of more than 300,000 cattle, the population of the area dropped from 105,000 to fewer than 27,000 in the resulting famine, according to Wikipedia.
Zille's comments sparked outrage, with many saying her comparison was unacceptable.
“It's completely unacceptable for a white person to use historical injustices visited upon Africans by white people to argue her point, especially against a black person,” wrote one Facebook user.
"[Zille's] statement incites unnecessary anger among citizens,” said another user.
“This woman continues to verbally abuse our black history ... we are dealing with an uncontrollable deadly disease, not oppression or violation of rights. Remember this, people who don't offer solutions to the current situation, and are pushing for the normal way of life in this pandemic are killers. We will drop like flies if we continue entertaining such views.”
Another user said: “Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma and the collective deserve condemnation, but to use the painful example of what happened when the British were trying to kill any black who did not conform to their Christian beliefs is pathetic.”