ANC must send strong message on racist remarks
It is inconceivable that a leader within a movement that liberated SA would use a racist epithet, especially towards a fellow comrade.
You would think that this sort of diatribe is a thing of the past, but sadly not.
It happens, and much too often.
This week, a voice note was shared on social media.
In it, ANC Nelson Mandela Bay Ward 41 branch secretary Zolani Willem can be heard using a derogatory term to describe former roads and transport political head Rosie Daaminds.
Willem, who has admitted to calling Daaminds by the isiXhosa term meant to demean coloured people, can be heard saying Daaminds is defending her salary before he swears at her and refers to her by the pejorative term.
Though Willem claims to have personally apologised to Daaminds, she denies that he did.
And she felt so aggrieved by the matter that she laid a formal complaint with the ANC regional task team.
Whether Willem will be severely punished by the party or receive a slap on the wrist remains to be seen.
Earlier this year, Matjhabeng mayor Nkosinjani Speelman was suspended after he referred to coloured people as “Boesmans” and drunkards.
But mere months later, he was reinstated by the party’s national appeals committee.
This sparked massive debate, with some saying it reinforced the belief that the ANC was not a political home for coloured people.
The derogatory word used in reference to Daaminds, which we have chosen not to print, falls in the same category as the k-word and must be outlawed.
How the ANC handles this matter will be watched closely — by the coloured party members and supporters as well as the elusive undecided voters in Port Elizabeth’s northern areas.
A strong message must be sent that racism will not be tolerated by the party.
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