DA to assist victim of Springs racist farm assault

The DA is appalled by the latest report of the racial abuse of a farm worker by his employer in Springs, Ekurhuleni.

It is reported that the farm worker was forced to drink two litres of water contaminated with faeces and then locked away in a sewer for thirty minutes.

After managing to escape from the farm the next day, the farm worker went to the Springs Police Station to report the incident, only to be turned away.

Not only was this individual the victim of inhumane abuse by his employers, but he was treated with disdain by SAPS officers who failed in their duty to actively deal with this heinous crime, and treat the victim with dignity.

The evil of racial abuse in our society must be stamped out decisively. Those who perpetuate the mentality of racial superiority and the subjugation of others must be called out and subjected to the laws befitting their crimes.

Ours is a nation that abides by the Constitution which espouses equality for all. We cannot build a society where we negatively defined and divided by race.

The DA will ensure that the farm worker involved in this case is afforded the opportunity to make a submission before the Human Rights Commission, and encourages those that have been similarly abused at this farm to come forward to be afforded the same opportunity.

We will also follow up with Gauteng MEC for Community Safety, Sizakele Nkosi-Malobane to ensure that action is taken against the officers at the Springs Police Station who initially failed into take this individual’s statement and assist in opening a case.

DA congratulates SAPS swift response to KFC racist attack

The Democratic Alliance condemns in the strongest terms the violent incident of racial abuse by four white males perpetrated against a black couple at the KFC drive through in Montana, Tshwane.

Jacob Sono and his wife Dudu were assaulted and threatened with a firearm.

In a democratic and constitutional dispensation, there is no room for racism and no person should live in fear of abuse based on the colour of his or her skin.

The DA commends the SAPS for their swift response to this crime, as all four of the alleged perpetrators have been arrested.

The DA will monitor the progress of this case and offer support. The law must now be allowed to follow its course for justice to be served to the Sono family.

Teachers go-slow jeopardising learners’ future

Gauteng Education MEC Panyaza Lesufi must take strong action against schools and teachers participating in an ill-thought go-slow which has the potential of jeopardising learners contact time at schools.

Appointments of school principals must be based on merit not race.

The DA urges the communities in the Johannesburg West and the Eldorado Park regions, to rethink their actions and to put learners on top of their agenda.

Communities in and around these areas have valid concerns including allegations made against SADTU, which the MEC needs to address, however, closing schools and calling for a specific “race” for a school principal is damaging and takes our country backward not forward.

The SADTU “jobs for cash scandal” is destroying school leadership and management. The MEC has an obligation to reclaim the department from undue influence of SADTU in promoting and appointing teachers.

We cannot sow divisions in communities through race-based appointments. Communities must be reminded of the horrors of apartheid as this has no place in our democratic society.

The DA urges MEC Lesufi to speedily resolve the case at Klipspruit West Secondary School and ensure a full functioning School Governing Body is appointed as well as to investigate the merits of the school principal appointment.

DA Welcomes Pretoria Girls Report

The DA welcomes the release of the Gauteng Department of Education’s report into the incidents of racism experienced by black learners at Pretoria Girls High School.

Gauteng Education MEC, Panyaza Lefusi must be congratulated for his even handed handling of this issue.

The school governing body of Pretoria Girls High School must also be congratulated for agreeing to abide by the recommendations as set out by the report.

Racism has no place in society, especially not in places of learning. It is important that all of us work together to help build a truly united, non-racial South Africa.

Media enquiries:

Khume Ramulifho MPL

DA Gauteng Education Shadow MEC

082 398 7375

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No Racist Or Sexist Incidents In Gauteng Hospitals

Gauteng State Hospitals

There have been no reported incidents by employees of racism, sexism, homophobia or harassment in Gauteng state hospitals and clinics in the last four years.

This is the claim of Gauteng Health MEC Qedani Mahlangu in a written reply to my questions in the Gauteng Legislature.

She says that there were no reported incidents from 2012 to date. The last reported case was in 2011 which led to a doctor being dismissed.

I am pleased that reported incidents are extremely rare, but I am concerned that this might be due to intimidation rather than a complete absence of racism, sexism or harassment in our hospitals.

Sexual Harassment Policy

Junior doctors are especially vulnerable to harassment of various kinds, as was recently exposed in a Daily Vox article where an intern complained about widespread intimidation and posted a video of how she was treated.

Mahlangu says that the Gauteng Health Department has a Sexual Harassment Policy and all employees are informed about the grievance procedure in this regard.

She says that junior doctors have access to the MEC and the Head of Department to report complaints. If cases of harassment are reported, “the Management deals with them immediately”.

I hope that this rosy picture is true as health employees should always be treated by management with respect and dignity.


Media enquiries:

Jack Bloom MPL

DA Gauteng Shadow MEC for Health

082 333 4222

Urgent Council Meeting Let-Down: Mayor Fails To Suspend Compromised Pikitup MD

Pikitup Strike

Johannesburg Mayor Parks Tau should have broken the logjam in the Pikitup strike by suspending MD Amanda Nair after a strong case against her was presented by the DA at today’s urgent extraordinary City Council meeting.

Tau let down the residents of the City when he rejected a call by DA, and the minority parties in Council, for a truly independent inquiry into serious allegations against Nair.

Instead Mayor Tau gave weak reasons for not acting against her, and offered no new insights to help councillors and residents deal with the five-week old strike.

The City is unable to act decisively because several leaders linked to Pikitup are compromised.

Corruption, Nepotism and Racism

Workers’ allegations against Nair are among the main reasons for the impasse, which has raised health concerns amid mounting piles of rotting garbage

DA Councillor, Andrew Cadman told Council that accusations against Nair included corruption, nepotism and racism.

Nair is accused of appointing friends to Pikitup positions. For example, Kelvin Ngwenya, the son of Nair’s domestic worker, was given an internship. While interns are typically paid about R2000 a month, Ngwenya was paid R9500. He was allegedly the only intern given a permanent appointment without being interviewed.

Nair is also accused of favouring the appointment of Indians to senior positions. The DA has names of individuals affected.

There is also evidence that Nair failed to comply with other recruitment and promotion procedures. Senior positions have been filled without any interview process being followed. Again, individuals are named. In addition, consultants have been loaded on the Pikitup system, so that they receive employee benefits, and are provided with tools of trade at Pikitup’s expense.

Tender irregularities are also alleged. Nair is accused of increasing the scope of the tender awarded to Aqua Plant by R40 million, despite a decision by the previous Pikitup Board not to do so because of allegations of fraud.

City’s Corporate Investigations Unit

Equally concerning is the decision by the City and the Pikitup Board not take appropriate action against Nair in relation to cellphones and tablet improperly issued to Nair.  The City’s Corporate Investigations Unit recommended that disciplinary action be instituted against Mr Donovan Denyssen, General Manager: Infrastructure Enterprise,  for “unofficially issuing cellphones and a tablet to Ms Nair without permission. .”, and that a case of theft be opened against him.

Mr Denyssen was dismissed. Nair, who allegedly used the items for her family and gave one of the cellphones to one of MMC Matshidiso Mfikoe’s children as a birthday present, was merely required to refund the City the value of the items.

The Corporate Investigations Unit curiously elected not to interview Nair and MMC Mfikoe regarding allegations that Denyssen made against them “due to the sensitivity of the investigation”.

Nair subsequently re-employed Denyssen, allegedly at an annual salary of R1.4 million, which was allegedly increased to R2.4 million within a few months.


Where was the Pikitup Board at this time? Bizarrely, the chair, Dr Trish Hanekom, allegedly deposed  an affidavit stating that the cellphones had no value, while the City attributed a value of approximately R33 000 to them. If that is true, Dr Hanekom has committed perjury.

This leaves the City with a compromised Pikitup MD, a compromised board chair, and a compromised political head (MMC Mfikoe).

The allegations are precise and detailed. In law, they are sufficient to warrant the immediate suspension of Nair. There must be an inquiry, not by those who are compromised, but by independent persons.


Media enquiries:

Cllr Vasco da Gama

DA Johannesburg Caucus Leader

082 957 8581

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DA Welcomes Gauteng Education Findings on Food Poisoning and Curro

Food Poisoning and RacismKhume Ramulifho, MPL: DA Gauteng Shadow MEC for Education

The DA welcomes findings by the Gauteng Education Department into the Emma Primary School food poisoning incident and racism at the Curro Primary School.

So too do we appreciate MEC Panyaza Lesufi relaying the findings of the food poisoning and convey our sympathies with the parents who have lost their children. We further call on the South African Police Service to investigate the alleged intentional food poisoning by one of the learner’s grandmothers.

Remedial Steps

We further note the remedial steps taken by Education MEC Panyaza and his strong condemnation against racism at the Curro School, Pretoria which the management admitted received pressure from white parents to separate learners based on their cultural backgrounds.

It is shameful that after 21 years of a democracy racism continues to plague our society.

The Heartbeat of our Democracy

We live in a culturally diverse society and wholly inclusive society, with people of different cultures, races and socio-economic backgrounds.

Diversity is the heartbeat of our democracy and the DA calls on parents across our province to foster a sense of unity in diversity among our children, and build a society of freedom, fairness and opportunity.


Media enquiries:

Khume Ramulifho, MPL

DA Gauteng Shadow MEC for Education

082 398 7375

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