Sotyu's comments show prejudice - Agri SA
Johannesburg - Examples given by Deputy Police Minister Maggie Sotyu in her argument that courts are racist show she is prejudiced against whites and white commercial farmers, Agri SA said on Wednesday.
"It is regrettable that Ms Maggie Sotyu played the race card in one of her first public appearances after her appointment as deputy minister of police by referring to 'racist courts'," Agri SA president Johannes Möller said in a statement.
"Her superficial comparison between two court judgements without referring to the underlying merits thereof, merely to score political points, is of concern and has undermined confidence."
Sotyu on Wednesday said South Africa's courts were racist because black criminals receive harsher sentences than their white counterparts.
More convincing arguments explaining her position and attitude needed to be given, Möller said.
"It regrettable that the deputy minister has, with these remarks, given rise to doubts concerning her insight and attitude."
He said Agri SA and the police co-operated well at different levels and there was an appreciation for the "leading" role Police Minister Nathi Mthethewa took when he implemented the updated rural safety strategy.
Political leaders such as Sotyu needed to realise that "utterances could contribute to either reconciliation and co-operation or to polarisation and violent behaviour", he said.
Sotyu, a former chairperson of Parliament's portfolio committee on police, was appointed deputy minister in President Jacob Zuma's major Cabinet reshuffle 10 days ago.
She reportedly made the remarks after a briefing to MPs on Tuesday on the Centre for the Study of Violence and Reconciliation's report on violent crime in South Africa.