Racial slur case against NMB DA cllr goes to party's highest disciplinary body
The Democratic Alliance's highest disciplinary body, the Federal Legal Commission, is set to hear a case against its Nelson Mandela Bay councillor, Chris Roberts, who is accused of a racial slur during a recent council meeting. Roberts is the councillor for Ward 7.
Apparently, during a Nelson Mandela Bay Council meeting on 31 July, Executive Mayor Danny Jordaan, mispronounced United Democratic Movement (UDM) NMB caucus leader and councillor, Mongameli 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, will form part of the evidence that will determine Roberts’s fate as a political representative of the party at City Hall.
Roberts has previously 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.
“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’.”
He went on to say that he was stunned in shock and disbelief but was even more astounded when Roberts denied this when he responded to a point-of-order, which was raised in respect of the “bobbejaan” comment.
“I believe that his comments were racially offensive and insulting, above all in a constitutionally associated council. It is an affront and an insult to my dignity as a black person and our constitutional democracy,” Bobani said in the letter to the Speaker.
“It also indicates total disrespect to the decorum of our council as an institution which was built on the bed-rock of our constitutional system.
“I am aggrieved by his comments and it reminds me of the dark days of apartheid where we suffered greatly as black people of this country.”
Bobani said the DA councillor must be formally charged according to the code of conduct and ethics of councillors.
DA Nelson Mandela Bay Mayoral candidate, Athol Trollip, told PE Express that a charge has been levelled against Roberts by a fellow DA councillor, Knight Mali, but they are unable to proceed with the legal process as the speaker has not released the transcripts of that specific sitting.
“There was a recording made which we have been asking the speaker for access to. It’s frustrating because this a vital piece of evidence,” Trollip said.
Roberts in a letter to DA councillor , who filed the complaint against Roberts, said he apologised “unreservedly for any hurt or offence caused to you and assure you that no malice was intended.”
The relaxed former frontier town of Grahamstown is not...
Fun times were had at The Boardwalk on Thursday all in the name of charity. Finalists for the Mr Port Elizabeth UberMANn campaign rolled people around the lake of The Boardwalk to raise funds in aid of the Association for the Physically Disabled (APD) of Nelson Mandela Bay...
As one of South Africa’s most prominent news...
KIA Motors has signed a memorandum of...
The Johannesburg Stock Exchange (JSE) is the...
The trial of disgraced Port Elizabeth businessman, Christopher Panayiotou, and co-accused Sinethemba Nenembe and Zolani Sibeko, resumed in the Port Elizabeth High Court on Friday. Panayiotou and his co-accused are alleged to have orchestrated the faked kidnapping and murder of his wife, Jayde, in April 2015...
Members of iMveli Cycling Academy will be holding a...
The Democratic Alliance (DA) says it will on Friday write to...
Sports car fanatics will be in for a rare treat when over a...
FULL SPEECH - Save South Africa convener, businessman...
- Panayiotou Murder Trial: Terry Price and Captain Kanna Swanepoel lock horns
- Port Elizabeth man busted with cocaine worth R100 000 disguised as Grandpa sachets
- Port Elizabeth anglers rescued at Cape Recife after being cut off by high tide
- iMveli Cycling Academy holding a Mass Ride over increasing attacks on cyclists in Victoria Drive
- Dept of Energy confirms fuel prices will go up on Wednesday