‘Cockroach’ start of hate

2015-02-17 00:00

CAPE TOWN — The Human Rights Commission (HRC) us deeply ­worried about the “emotional and insulting language used by political leaders” after the State of the ­Nation address.

Meanwhile, the ANC maintains the speaker Baleka Mbete calling ­Malema a cockroach has been taken out of context.

She allegedly made this remark while chairing an ANC provincial ­congress in the North West.

Her office did not react to queries, except to say there will be a media conference on the issue today.

EFF secretary Godrich Gardee, said the party is meanwhile getting legal advice on Mbete’s statements.

CEO of the HRC Kayum Ahmed, said politicians had to guard against insults when referring to each other.

He said Rwandan leaders used the word “cockroach” during the genocide there and more recently the European Union used it against non-Europeans. “The word ‘cockroach’ is often associated with discrimination and hate.”

He called on politicians to maintain and add to social unity.

But on his Facebook page, ANC spokesperson Keith Khoza defended Mbete, posting: “Nigeria is reeling from girls who were adapted (sic) by Bokoharam and random killings, we are screaming on why Julius is called a cockroach!”

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