Home discrimination Noose tightens around neck of ‘racist’ DA MP

Noose tightens around neck of ‘racist’ DA MP

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The DA’s hapless bid to douse the flames of controversy caved in amid growing calls for Renaldo Gouws’s removal.

Renaldo Gouws. Picture: Screengrab

THE DA’s Renaldo Gouws’s brazenly racist and erratic behaviour will potentially lead to his political downfall as more organisations are gunning for him.

Gouws was among the 400 Members of Parliament (MPs) who were sworn in last week during a sitting of the National Assembly.

His excitement, however, was short-lived when his chilling racist videos were thrust into the public spotlight, drawing immediate backlash against the 41-year-old Eastern Cape-born politician.

In the video, Gouws can be heard saying: “Alright, so there’s a couple of things I want to say. Kill the f***ing k*ffirs, kill all the f***ing n*ggers. That’s all I gotta f***ing say. Kill all the k*ffirs! Kill all the f***ing n*ggers.”

His party, the DA, which has been haplessly trying to douse the flames of Gouws’s controversy, caved in on Thursday and summarily suspended him pending a full disciplinary hearing by the party’s Federal Legal Commission.

In a statement, the DA said: “The DA has established that the video, in which Renaldo Gouws uses execrable language, is in fact genuine and not a fake as initially suspected.

“The DA Federal Executive has therefore suspended Mr Gouws with immediate effect while he faces disciplinary charges before the party’s Federal Legal Commission.”

Following the sharp, widespread criticism after his first video, Gouws apologised, saying he was young and immature when he recorded the first video and posted it on his YouTube channel back in 2010.

But the subsequent videos equally littered with racial slurs against black people further tightened the noose around Gouws’s neck, and now his future as a lawmaker hangs in the balance.

The South African Human Rights Commission (SAHRC) has also set in motion proceedings at the Equality Court in Gqeberha against Gouws.

In a statement, the commission said: “This explicit content, initially published on his YouTube channel in March 2010, was archived despite being deleted and has resurfaced, revealing behaviour that is incompatible with the principles of dignity and equality enshrined in South African law.”

It added: “Subsequently, the commission was tagged by aggrieved citizens on social media seeking that it intervenes in this matter. Following assessment of the content, the commission has concluded that utterances allegedly made by Mr Gouws constitute hate speech and/or harassment as contemplated in terms of sections 10 and 11 of the Promotion of Equality and Prevention of Unfair Discrimination Act 2000 (PEPUDA or Equality Act).”

The SAHRC was empowered in terms of section 13(3)(b) of the South African Human Rights Commission Act 40 of 2013 (SAHRC Act) “to bring proceedings in a competent court or tribunal in its own name or on behalf of a person or a group or class of persons”, said the commission.

The commission said as an MP, Gouws’s alleged actions carry even greater weight and responsibility.

“He is expected to uphold and embody the principles enshrined in the Constitution, including human dignity, equality, and non-discrimination.”

The blatantly racist and derogatory term k*ffir was coined by racist white people during the height of apartheid from 1948 until the first democratic elections of 1994. It is worth noting though that not all white people subscribed to apartheid.

Many were against it, which was evident when 68% of the whites voted in favour of a referendum to end apartheid in March 1992 during former apartheid president FW de Klerk’s tenure.

Gouws previously served as the DA party’s spokesperson on economic development, tourism and agriculture in the Nelson Mandela Bay metro in the Eastern Cape.

This is not the first racial incident to rock the DA. Back in 2015, the Blue party was embroiled in a nasty racial controversy after its long-serving MP, Dianne Kohler-Barnard, shared a Facebook post which praised apartheid president PW Botha.

All eyes are on the DA, which prides itself on being a non-racist party.

Julius Malema’s EFF said in a statement: “While the EFF supports the nationwide calls for Gouws to be removed as a Member of Parliament, we are aware that his removal will not dent the DA’s quest to defend the gains of colonialism and apartheid. A much bigger course is the removal of the DA, a prime representative of racists, from being a political player in this country.

“By extension, a more noble call is for the removal of the ANC from political power, because it is the ANC that gives these racists a veil of legitimacy.”

Other official opposition parties – including the ATM led by Vuyo Zungula – have also called for the removal of Gouws from Parliament.

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