DA Nelson Mandela Bay Cllr in hot water again for 'bobbejaan' slur

JANUARY 6, 2016

A Democratic Alliance (DA) Nelson Mandela Bay Municipality Councillor is among those named in an African National Congress (ANC) formal complaint that was submitted to the South African Human Rights Commission to investigate the DA as a "breeding ground" for racists.

DA councillor, Chris Roberts, last year allegedly referred to United Democratic Movement (UDM) NMB caucus leader and councillor, Mongameli Bobani as "councillor bobbejaan".

Roberts is the councillor for the Nelson Mandela Bay Municipality's Ward 7.

Apparently, during a Nelson Mandela Bay Council meeting on 31 July 2015, Executive Mayor Danny Jordaan, mispronounced Bobani's surname, prompting Roberts to reportedly utter “bobbejaan”.

Unfortunately, the utterance was recorded on tape.     

Sworn affidavits from other Nelson Mandela Bay Municipality DA councillors also pointed to this utterance.

Roberts apologised for any offence that could have arisen from the incident and maintains that he was misheard. In his defense, he claims to have called Bobani, “babobani” in a jest.

“Bobani and I enjoy a very cordial relationship that extends back several years and we frequently engage in good natured banter and joke with one another.

“In council when this occurred I said in an aside, jocularly to Shirley Sauls that his name is Bobabooni. Bear in mind that this was in the context of Mayor Jordaan’s repeated attempts to pronounce Mongameni’s surname correctly to the amusement of council,” he added.

Still Bobani filed a formal complaint against him with Council speaker Maria Hermans, saying; "During his reply to the concerns I raised, the Mayor struggled to pronounce my surname, which is when Roberts interjected by referring to me as ‘bobbejaan’." Read more on the incident, click HERE.

The other respondents are;

- DA MP Mike Waters who allegedly posted a picture on Twitter showing a pack of dogs lining up at a tree, underneath which was a picture of President Jacob Zuma;

- DA member Penny Sparrow who took to Facebook describing black beachgoers as "monkeys", in an apparent reaction to litter left behind after New Year’s celebrations;

Spokesperson Zizi Kodwa told News24 that they had asked the commission to investigate racism within the DA, as well as whether the DA was fuelled by racists.

The SAHRC earlier pledged to investigate all racism-related complaints, regardless of the perpetrator’s race.

"We have already laid criminal charges against several individuals who have made racist remarks on a number of social media platforms" Kodwa said, adding that the complaints were laid at the Hillbrow police station.

They had also laid a complaint against economist Chris Hart who came under fire after he tweeted on Sunday that 25 years after apartheid ended, the victims were increasing, "along with a sense of entitlement and hatred toward minorities".

"Most of these racists come from the DA... Waters, Diane Kohler-Barnard, you name them, they are there," said Kodwa.

Kohler-Barnard recently came under fire for sharing a Facebook post praising apartheid president PW Botha.

DA leader Mmusi Maimane's spokesperson, Mabine Seabe, said the ANC was using a political gimmick.

"If one or two people come out as racist, it doesn’t mean that the party is racist. The DA condemns racism heavily. We have no space for racists in the DA," he said.

---additional reporting; News24. Sourcehttp://www.news24.com/SouthAfrica/News/anc-lays-formal-complaint-against-da-with-hrc-20160105