A DA member was suspended for using racist language

A South African lawmaker has been suspended by his party, the Democratic Alliance (DA), after a series of old clips resurfaced online of him spewing violent racist language towards with black people.

Renaldo Gouws initially hinted that one of the videos was edited and denied it but a statement released by the DA on Thursday said it was “genuine and not fake”.

In the video, Mr Gouws, who was sworn into parliament last week, repeatedly uses a local slur typically reserved for black Africans along with the n-word and calls for the killing of black people.

This could hardly come at a worse time for President Cyril Ramaphosa as he defeats a new coalition government with the DA.

After being sworn in for a second term as president on Wednesday, he must now agree on the allocation of ministerial posts between his own African National Congress (ANC) and the DA, along with the three parties less.

The ANC failed to win a majority in last month’s election for the first time since the apartheid system ended in 1994.

The centre-right DA, the country’s second largest party, has faced accusations of racism from critics who say the party wants to protect the interests of white ethnic minorities – an accusation that they deny.

The DA said Mr Gouws would face “disciplinary charges”.

Earlier this week, another old video clip surfaced in which Mr Gouws made racist comments.

In the video, he implies that white people are subject to apartheid.

“If Africa had to disappear from the face of the earth, there would be no one,” he said [expletive] notice”.

More than 40,000 people have signed an online petition calling for his removal as an MP.

On Monday, after the first clip debuted, the 41-year-old insisted he was not racist and apologized on X, saying he had spoken in a “vulgar” and “hostile” manner.

“I reject any claims of racism or being a racist. However, I can see how my message was distorted in the way I delivered it and I take full responsibility responsible for his young and immature actions,” he said.

DA Leader John Steenhuisen has previously defended Mr Gouws, but it is unclear whether he has seen the latest video in which Mr Gouws calls for the killing of black people.

Senior DA official and former party leader Helen Zille on Wednesday told local media: “Such language is indefensible and unacceptable. I don’t understand how the language is offensive such may be justified.”

Mr Gouws is a former councilor for Nelson Mandela Bay Ward 2 and a famous social media personality who is known to be controversial.

The South African Human Rights Commission (SAHRC) said it would take legal action against Mr Gouws “for alleged racist statements in relation to online media posts”.

In a statement shared on X, the SAHRC concluded that the suspended MP’s comments “constituted hate speech and/or harassment”.

“Given Mr. Gouw’s position as a Member of Parliament, his alleged actions carry even greater weight and responsibility.”

The coalition between long-time rivals the ANC and DA, officially known as the Government of National Unity, has been harshly criticized by some since it was announced last week.

Julius Malema, the leader of the Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF) who founded the party after leaving the ANC in 2013, criticized the deal.

“We do not agree to this marriage of convenience that seeks to consolidate white monopoly power over the economy and means of production in South Africa.”

Former President Jacob Zuma and the founder of uMkhonto weSizwe (MK), who came third in the recent election, also share similar views.

He said there was no government of national unity in South Africa and described the partnership as an “unholy white-led alliance between the DA and Ramaphosa’s ANC”.

South Africa’s business community has widely welcomed the coalition government, hoping it will bring economic stability.

In his opening speechPresident Ramaphosa vowed to bring economic growth, provide jobs and reduce inequality in the country.


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