Racism row in the DA

2019-09-25 16:06
Democratic Alliance. (Duncan Alfreds, News24)

Democratic Alliance. (Duncan Alfreds, News24)

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The DA Msunduzi constituency has been rocked by accusations of abuse, racism and unfair practice — which the party’s provincial leadership allegedly ignored.

Councillor of the DA-controlled Ward 25, Melika Singh, has written to the DA leader, Mmusi Maimane, requesting his intervention. In an e-mail in which she copied the people she accused, which The Witness has seen, she said her experience as a councillor in the organisation had “been fraught with racism and abuse” for three years.

“The situation has worsened recently as after I’ve returned from sick leave [cancer treatment] there has been a sustained campaign of abuse and harassment, interference in my ward to push me to resign as the cllr. This has always been the case but now it is worse,” she said.

In her letter to Maimane, Singh, who accused a number of high ranking DA Msunduzi caucus councillors of racist conduct, requested the DA federal leader to intervene immediately.

“I have been bullied, intimidated and abused simply because I am not the ‘right colour’ and therefore, should not be leading a strong DA ward.

“Mmusi this has been the case for 3 years and I ask your intervention failing which I will exercise my legal rights to stop the abuse, racism and dehumanising experience of being in this organisation,” she said.

According to Singh, she decided to write to Maimane after the DA provincial leadership had ignored her complaints.

When The Witness contacted Singh she said: “Kindly note I cannot comment on an internal matter.”

DA provincial leader Zwakele Mncwango said the provincial leadership would investigate Singh’s allegations, and denied that the DA KZN leadership had previously ignored the racism claims. “I come to Msunduzi a lot and I meet with councillors so she could have even pulled me aside and spoken to me then but to be honest I haven’t seen her for a while …

“It’s just alarming. You can’t tell me that you’ve been experiencing this for three years but you’ve never raised it.”

He said it was a pity that in South Africa whenever a black person and white person had a dispute it became a race issue instead of a disagreement like any other.

Read more on:    pietermaritzburg  |  racism
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