Afrikanerbond asks Zuma to speak out against racism

2011-03-08 12:56

Afrikanerbond chairperson Piet Vorster has called on President Jacob Zuma to speak out against racism coming from the ranks of the ANC.

In a letter sent to the Presidency today, Vorster asked Zuma whether “crude” comments by government spokesperson Jimmy Manyi about coloured, white and Indian people were the “official government position”.

“The crude racial views on the coloured and Indian community coupled with his previously expressed sentiments on the white community are of major concern,” he wrote.

“As enormous harm has been done to minorities by your government spokesperson, albeit through statements in his past, his former or current tainted views are attached and associated with government.

“In this regard, it must be asked whether this is the official government position.”

Manyi said in a show broadcast on KykNet’s Robinson Regstreeks in March last year that there was an “over supply” of coloureds in Western Cape.

At the time he was labour department director-general.

The comments caused a public outcry, culminating in the publishing of an open letter to him from National Planning Minister Trevor Manuel, who called Manyi a “worst-order racist”.

Last week, Zuma called for restraint in the racial stand-off.
He said no-one should use race for political grandstanding.

Vorster said Zuma’s silence on the issue could no longer be ignored.

He said the Afrikanerbond seriously questioned the credibility of Manyi to act as government spokesperson when his past views were “so heavily tainted”.

“If South Africa wants to claim to be a non-racial democracy, serious reflection is required on the public pronouncements and statements that were made thus far,” Vorster wrote.

“As president of South Africa you are now required to do what the South African Constitution mandates you to do, namely to ‘promote the unity of the nation and that which will advance the Republic.’

“The distorted and racist views of the government spokesperson surely does not promote the unity of the nation and most certainly do not advance the republic,” he said.

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