Cosatu apologises to Joburg MMC Sun for racist slurs

2017-10-03 14:50
(File, Cosatu)

(File, Cosatu)

Multimedia   ·   User Galleries   ·   News in Pictures Send us your pictures  ·  Send us your stories

Johannesburg – The Congress of South African Trade Unions (Cosatu) has apologised unreservedly for the barrage of insults hurled at City of Johannesburg MMC for Public Safety Michael Sun, saying it doesn't condone racism or racial discrimination.

At the Cosatu protest against state capture and corruption last Wednesday, marchers stopped outside the Johannesburg City Council to hand over a memorandum to Mayor Herman Mashaba. The mayor was not available to come and sign the memorandum himself, and sent Sun to stand in for him.

News24 heard marchers call Sun a "fong kong", and tell him to go back to China. Sun is a South African-born citizen of Chinese descent.

The crowd, as well as an official who accepted the memorandum, did not give Sun a chance to speak. Sun stood in silence as more offensive slurs were thrown his way, while South African Communist Party (SACP) secretary general Blade Nzimande looked on, along with other leaders.

The crowd also mimicked sounds made in Kung Fu movies during fights. 

'Cosatu will never condone any form of racism'

When Sun was signing the memorandum, some in the crowd shouted that he should not sign in Chinese. They also said that Mashaba had sent Sun - who a Cosatu official referred to as "Mr Lee" - because he was scared of workers and had therefore sent someone who knew karate.

They called Mashaba a sell-out. Mashaba threatened to take the organisations to the South African Human Rights Commission (SAHRC) if they did not apologise by Sunday.

Cosatu came out on Tuesday morning, apologising for any embarrassment and hurt caused by the derogatory statements. 

"Cosatu will never condone any form of racism or racial discrimination. We have concluded that the statements made against Michael Sun were intolerant, patronising and hurtful and could be easily interpreted as bigoted. That is not what our organisation stands for," read a statement. 

Cosatu's Sizwe Pamla was not available for comment. 

KEEP UPDATED on the latest news by subscribing to our FREE newsletter.

- FOLLOW News24 on Twitter

News24 (@News24) | Twitter

The latest Tweets from News24 (@News24). News24 is Southern Africa and Africa's premier online news resource reaching over 2.3 million local users each month. South Africa

Read more on:    sacp  |  cosatu  |  michael sun  |  johannesburg  |  racism  |  protests

Inside News24

Most Read
News In Your Area
Top Lifestyle
Traffic Alerts
There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.


Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.

Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire network.