ANC charges DA leader

2017-02-09 09:31
ANC regional secretary Mzi Zuma and provincial spokesperson Mdumiseni Ntuli lead ANC members as they march to Mountain Rise SAPS to lay a charge against DA MP Mergan Chetty for allegedly using a derogatory word in a phone call with former DA councillor Lungisani Sikhakhane.

ANC regional secretary Mzi Zuma and provincial spokesperson Mdumiseni Ntuli lead ANC members as they march to Mountain Rise SAPS to lay a charge against DA MP Mergan Chetty for allegedly using a derogatory word in a phone call with former DA councillor Lungisani Sikhakhane. (Ian Carbutt)

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The ANC in the province yesterday laid charges of crimen injuria against DA provincial deputy leader Mergan Chetty.

This was after Chetty was heard in a phone call conversation that went viral on social media, using a xenophobic slur.

In a recorded phone call between Chetty and former DA councillor Lungisani Sikhakhane, Chetty can be heard using the word “makwerekwere”, a derogatory term for foreign nationals.

Sikhakhane defected from the DA to the ANC before the recent local government elections, and according to the phone call, is still a friend of Chetty’s.

In the early minutes of the 11-minute phone call, Chetty can be heard saying, “There is life after politics. We cannot become like f*****g makwerekweres and fight over stupid things all our lives.”

Although Chetty used the word casually, the ANC said he should have known better.

ANC KZN spokesperson Mdumiseni Ntuli, who also sits on the party’s highest provincial decision-making body, the provincial executive committee, said the party will continue their fight against racism.

He said it was wrong to discriminate against foreign nationals because some other African countries gave refuge to SA freedom fighters during the liberation struggle.

“Now because we are doing better economically and they are coming here to get better economic opportunities, we cannot discriminate against them.”

He said opening the case at Mountain Rise police station was not part of a media exercise, saying they had also pursued cases against Penny Sparrow and Dawie Kriel, who both posted racist comments on social media.

Regional secretary Mzi Zuma said the party was worried and angered by Chetty’s utterances.

“It is something that should bother SA that in this day and age, a leader of such calibre is making those references.

“The DA is home to Penny Sparrow. The court found her guilty [of racism]. She is a prominent member of the DA. We will not let go. There is nowhere to hide for racists,” he said.

DA provincial leader Zwakele Mncwango said the ANC was welcome to open a case if they felt the need to.

“We are living in a constitutional country. No one is above the law. If there is a case for Chetty to answer, he must answer,” he said.

Mncwango said the audio clip had also shed some light on why Sikhakhane and former ward 32 councillor Clive Lotz, had dumped the DA for the ANC.

“The ANC needs to listen that recording. Sikhakhane is confirming that they were offered jobs. I am still thinking what steps I need to take against Lotz. He said he was leaving the DA because of a lack of coloured representation in the DA. The same recording that is being shared by him confirms that he left because the ANC had offered him a job,” he said.

Station commander Brigadier Pregasen “Boxer” Pillay, confirmed the case, saying the matter “would be investigated thoroughly by the police”.

“The complainant will be given regular feedback.”

Earlier on there had been glitches in opening the case after it appeared the ANC did not know the origins of the audio nor where the conversation had taken place.

Pillay told ANC leaders that the case would transferred to another police station if it emerges that the conversation took place outside of their juristiction.

Attempts to contact Chetty on Wednesday were unsuccessful.


Read more on:    pietermaritzburg  |  hate speech

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