DA councillor voted out for “racist” comment

A Democratic Alliance (DA) councillor, who has referred to a United Democratic Movement (UDM) councillor as a baboon, has been removed from his duties.

The Nelson Mandela Metro council meeting held at Motherwell in Port Elizabeth took a surprise turn when a discussion on racism led to a joint conclusion to remove DA councillor, Chris Robert.

Robert had referred to UDM councillor, Mongameli Bobani, as a ‘bobbejaan’ – an Afrikaans word meaning baboon, during a council meeting last year.

Bobani has expressed satisfaction at the removal of Roberts, saying this kind of behaviour cannot be tolerated.

“The council today decided to remove that particular councillor from the council which the UDM fully supports. The very same council is the one that the people fought against racism. He was sitting in the council and then talked about his speech in the council. So the council adopted that, that councillor must be removed. Now we are waiting for the MEC now to actually confirm the decision of the council. We are hoping that the MEC is going to give a sign that hate speech in South Africa is not acceptable at all.”

DA caucus leader, Retief Odendaal says the party has taken this case very seriously. “DA made it very clear, that it’s not a party for racist, we’ve taken Robert’s issue very seriously. We’ve referred it to the highest decision making podium. As far as disciplinary hearing matter is concerned, processes have been followed and he was fined quite a heavy fine of ten thousand rand and also he was stripped off all his portfolios that he held, within leadership positions that he held, within the party.”

Residents attending the council meeting were also pleased with the decision. They say racism has no place in the new South Africa.

Executive mayor, Danny Jordaan has also condemned acts of racism in the country, touching on the issue of transformation and equality for all.

“We struggled for a non-racial, non-sexist democracy, as demonstrated by that contribution. We must be mindful that to change and sacrifice and the racist remarks that we’ve seen in our country is regrettable; it must be dismissed with contempt.”

Jordaan says the Nelson Mandela Metro has plans to address housing shortage and infrastructure development.



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