Guest Column

A funny way to show respect, AfriForum

2016-07-29 12:05

Johan Pienaar

The word ironic seems to be used a lot in discussions about AfriForum these days. So much so that one is almost in danger of slipping into cliché when describing this statement by Kallie Kriel, CEO of AfriForum as ironic.
“All the while acknowledging the principals of the promotion of mutual recognition and respect between communities.”
I will, however, follow Chief Justice Mogoeng Mogoeng lead in this regard when he described AfriForum’s use of the preamble to the Constitution on court papers ironic, given their selfish and highly insensitive attitude to other cultural and racial groups. It only seems respectful.
One should as a rule of thumb always be suspicious when someone is compelled in defence of themselves to extoll their virtuous respect to the world. It is one of those things best said by others of you instead of by you. It is entirely possible that I might be of course like Justice Mogoeng confused by AfriForum’s application of respect between communities. I am sure that Kallie Kriel would be happy to correct any such misunderstandings on my part. Allow me some possibly not so respectful questions then.
How for instance did AfriForum respect rape survivors, sadly, not an insignificant percentage of womxn by ridiculing rape culture in the Western Cape High Court as “rape lite”?
Was it respectful to these survivors when in the affidavits presented to Judge Donen AfriForum first questioned whether, in fact, a womxn was a rape survivor and then saying that they can’t understand why a rape survivor would be at a protest?
Am I just failing to see the respect when Afriforum under oath tells a rape survivor that if she felt unsafe and threatened, by what Judge Donen described as sexual assault and intimidation of the survivor by AfriForum supporters and/or employees, that she could simply have left the scene?
Should I think that it is respectful that AfriForum conducts an internal investigation into the sexual assault and intimidation of womxn on the campus of Stellenbosch University yet doesn’t know the names of the victims? Should these women have felt respected when under oath AfriForum stated that they didn’t need to know their names to conduct the investigation?
Is the way Kallie Kriel as CEO of AfriForum shows respect to women by ignoring the conduct and rape culture of his supporters and employees, even after a damning judgment was delivered in the High Court?
Am I to read their frivolous application for an interdict in order to try and silence me at huge legal cost to myself as respect for my right to Freedom of Speech? Judge Donen didn’t.

How about respect for the right of Afrikaans newspapers to differ from them – or will they threaten consumer boycotts to show how much they respect the rights of others to exercise their freedom of speech?    

How about their advocate Johann Hamman’s claim in court that I could not rely upon the Constitution in my defence?
Did AfriForum intend to how respect to the rights of their political opponents to a peaceful protest when they flew down employees from their offices to confront them and ultimately cause the violence which erupted on campus? Once again these are the words of Judge Donen, not myself.
Did they show respect for the right to expression of Afrikaner-students who disagree with them when they violently ripped posters from the statue that said “AfriForum praat nie namens my nie? Was this possibly some tactical defence of their freedom of expression?
Is AfriForum promoting mutual recognition and respect between communities when their supporters use their social media and internet platforms for the vilest, unrepeatable racism and personal insults without ever publically admonishing them or taking legal action against them as they have done when black individuals engage in such action?
Is mutual respect the agenda of their employees when they lead social media witch hunts against commentators and individuals who disagree with them?
And is the whites-only, womxn deprived management structure of AfriForum an ingenious way for an organisation who claims to defend our transformative constitution to respect and recognise other communities?
I probably just don’t understand what respect is.

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Read more on:    afriforum  |  kallie kriel

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