City of Cape Town DA caucus signs anti-racism pledge

2016-01-28 13:56

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Cape Town - The DA caucus in the City of Cape Town has signed an anti-racism pledge which acknowledges apartheid as evil, acting mayor Ian Neilson said on Thursday.

The pledge reads:

"I pledge to uphold the values of the Constitution, to cherish its vision for a united, non-racial, democratic South Africa, and to nourish this vision in my personal conduct.

"I acknowledge that apartheid was an evil system, and recognise that its legacy remains reflected in the unequal structure of South African society today.

"I reject discrimination in all its forms, and pledge to help root it out wherever I encounter it in South Africa.

"I will not perpetuate racial division, and will never undermine the dignity of my fellow South Africans.

"Instead, I will commit myself to working to overcome inequality and achieving shared prosperity."

He warned that the country could be set back decades if pre-election politics allowed people to break down what had already been achieved.

"Racism surrounds us and demeans and divides us all. But the majority have taken a journey away from the past and towards racial conciliation."

Neilson said racists and those who did not want reconciliation wanted to "milk the benefits of discord".

The DA expelled its MP Dianne Kohler Barnard last year after she shared a Facebook post suggesting that things were better in South Africa under apartheid president PW Botha.

She said she had not read it properly. She appealed her sentence and the party suspended her expulsion until the end of the fifth Parliament in 2019.

The ANC filed an Equality Court hate speech case against her.

The DA terminated the membership of former estate agent Penny Sparrow after she called black people monkeys in a Facebook post about New Year’s day revellers on beaches.

DA leader Mmusi Maimane has had to work hard to distance the party from claims that it harboured racists.

On Thursday, the Western Cape ANC planned to picket outside the council's offices in the Civic Centre, demanding it fire councillor Sam Pienaar who was part of planning the fatal Trojan Horse shooting in 1985.

The DA, the majority on the council in the city, had referred Pienaar’s matter to its Federal Legal Commission. It was expected to decide whether he had brought the party into disrepute by not disclosing that he was part of the tragedy.

He was a commander in the SA Defence Force civilian defence unit on the Cape Flats at the time.

On October 15 1985, railway police hid themselves in crates on the back of an SA Railways truck that drove down Thornton Road in Athlone. From the crates, they shot at anti-apartheid protesters who had been throwing stones at them.

Jonathan Claasen, 21, Shaun Magmoed, 15, and Michael Miranda, 11, were killed and several others injured.

They did the same thing in Crossroads the next day, killing Mabhuti Fatman, 20, and Mengxwane Mali, 19.

Pienaar said that he was part of the planning, but not the shooting.

Pienaar had been a DA councillor since 2011. He headed sub-council 6, which included parts of Bellville, Belhar, and Bishop Lavis.

Read more on:    da  |  cape town  |  politics  |  racism

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