Commission for Gender Equality suspends Mbuyiselo Botha for 'albino' comment

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Mbuyiselo Botha.
Mbuyiselo Botha.
Lucky Nxumalo
  • Gender activist Mbuyiselo Botha has been placed on precautionary suspension pending the outcome of his disciplinary process.
  • This comes after Botha made certain remarks about colleagues.
  • Botha was not immediately available for comment on Thursday.

Gender activist Mbuyiselo Botha has been placed on precautionary suspension following his statements about a colleague over the colour of her skin.  

This was revealed by the Commission for Gender Equality (CGE) in a statement on Thursday afternoon.

"The Commission has since instituted internal disciplinary hearings against Mr Botha, following the lodging of a grievance by Ms [Nomasonto] Mazibuko. This has resulted in the precautionary suspension of Mr Botha from the organisation, pending conclusion of this process," the Chapter 9 institution said.

READ | Botha in hot water after voice recording shaming albinos leaks

News24 earlier reported that, in a recorded conversation on 20 July, during a short break in a commission plenary session, Botha reportedly called fellow commissioner Nomasonto Mazibuko an albino.

He also accused commission chairperson Tamara Mathebula of lacking a backbone.

Botha previously told News24 he had reflected on the matter, and that his comments had been uncalled for. But he said he would not step down.

He was not immediately available for comment on Thursday.

ALSO READ: Hlengiwe Mkhize | Hidden in plain sight: Persons with albinism fighting the odds every day

CGE chairperson Tamara Mathebula conveyed a heartfelt apology to commissioners for "disparaging and derogatory utterances made by Botha towards them". 

In addition, Mathebula apologised to those with albinism, and the broader sector of people with disabilities for the "unsavoury comments by Commissioner Botha".

"As a commission, we feel the greatest amount of shame and sincerely regret the demeaning and discriminatory utterances levelled against a female commissioner by a colleague who is supposed to advance the rights and course of people with disabilities.

"The Commission is charged with the responsibility of promoting and advancing the rights of and respect for the dignity of all people," Mathebula said.

The Chapter 9 institution says that the outcomes of the disciplinary action against Botha will be communicated once the process has been finalised.

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