James Masango MPL
Provincial Chief Whip of the Official Opposition.
The ANC is trying to cover up the racist and inflammatory remarks made by Mpumalanga Legislature Deputy Speaker Violet Siwela to church pastors on Thursday last week, by trying to convince those present not to admit to it.
During an address to pastors in Lebohang near Leandra on Thursday evening, Ms Siwela said that Coloured people “don’t know their past, where they come from, or know who their grandfathers are”, and that their existence was a direct consequence of Jan van Riebeeck’s arrival at the Cape in 1652.
Shortly after the DA condemned
According to media reports, Ms Siwela heftily denied the allegations, claiming no knowledge of the statement and would therefore not comment on something she “does not know”.
Ms Siwela’s denials are unfortunate, as the DA was informed by more than one person about her racist comments, especially those about Coloureds and their origins. She therefore has no other choice but to apologise, and to do so immediately.
Furthermore, Premier David Mabuza has a responsibility to the people of Mpumalanga and take leadership in this matter. Not just does he have to distance the ANC from such inflammatory statements, he will also have to call Ms Siwela to order, and to do so immediately.
South Africans of all race groups enjoy the same protection under the Constitution, and the premier and the ANC are aware of that. Should no public apology be forthcoming from both the ANC and Ms Siwela within the next week, the DA will have no other choice but to take the matter further.