Suspended DA NMB councillor accuses party of not taking racism seriously


A former Democratic Alliance (DA) councillor in Nelson Mandela Bay has reportedly told a colleague that the party has little interest in fighting racism and accepting transformation, after he was suspended for having alleged links with the African National Congress (ANC).

According to News24, axed councillor Knight Mali made the comments in an email addressed to DA Whip Chris Roberts, who was fined R10 000 on Monday after being caught on audio calling United Democratic Movement (UDM) councillor, Mongameli Bobani, a bobbejaan at a council meeting last year.

Roberts has however stated that the remark was made in jest after Nelson Mandela Bay Executive Mayor Danny Jordaan, had struggled to correctly pronounce Bobani’s surname. In the email, Roberts also said the two enjoyed a cordial relationship and would often joke before a session began.

In a rebuttal, Mali, said the fine was “merely a slap on the wrists” and that the DA “needs to take a principle stand on racism”, before adding that top management positions was still being held by white males.

Responding to the fine imposed on Roberts, Bobani said it was clear that the DA does not treat the problem of racism as serious, and that him being retained as councillor “was not fair”.

“The fact that they have now confirmed that they are punishing councillor Roberts, they are confirming that he did mention my name as a bobbejaan. He can tomorrow call another councillor bobbejaan,” Bobani said.

DA Federal Chairperson James Selfe has meanwhile played the down the idea of the fine being a simple slap on the wrist, saying Roberts has paid heavily “in terms of his reputation and his status within council”.