Cape Town council confirms 'race slur' complaint against councillor

2015-06-09 17:59

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Cape Town - The Cape Town City Council on Tuesday confirmed it had received a complaint against a DA councillor that alleged he had used a racist term.

While Speaker Dirk Smit was overseas and unable to comment, his office manager Johan Kilian told News24 that a councillor had laid the complaint against Macassar councillor John Heuvel on Monday.

An email sent from the Western Cape ANC media account on Monday, and again on Tuesday, stated: “Find attach [sic] a soundtrack where senior Cape Town sub council chairperson and Ward 109 Cllr. John Heuvel called a security guard at a gate ‘a dom Kaffer’ [sic]”.

The emails included Heuvel’s photo and all his details in the same format as found on the City’s website.

A man could be heard using the term towards the end of the attached audio clip, but the email did not say who recorded the clip, where it was recorded, or offer any other contextual details. It does not provide any proof that it is Heuvel speaking, either.

Kilian said he had not listened to the recording because he had been unable to open the files. He had asked his IT team to put the content onto a CD.

“The person who has been implicated has been asked to respond with his version of events. There is a letter going to him to inform him of the complaint in writing.”

He said Smit would apply his mind when he returned to work on Monday. He would decide whether to forward the complaint to the disciplinary committee, which had the power to reprimand, fine or expel; or dismiss it on the basis that it was “frivolous or vexacious”.

ANC councillor Rhoda Bazier confirmed that she submitted the complaint to the Speaker on Monday, along with the supposed audio recording as evidence.

She said the alleged incident took place at a meeting in Macassar “last week or the week before” and that it was a serious issue that needed to be investigated.

When asked on Tuesday whether the incident had indeed occurred, Heuvel said: “I am not going to comment”.

He referred all enquiries to the Speaker.

Read more on:    da  |  anc  |  cape town  |  politics  |  local government

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