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DA lays incitement charges over 'inflammatory' comments

Crime & Courts
Johannesburg – Incitement and intimidation charges were laid against Ekurhuleni mayor Mzwandile Masina on Tuesday as the furore regarding the mayor’s “inflammatory” address at the Chris Hani Memorial Lecture on Monday rages on.

SAPS spokesperson Lieutenant-Colonel Lungelo Dlamini confirmed that the charges were laid at the Elsburg Police Station by the DA’s Ekurhuleni council leader Ghaleb Cachalia, and that the police were investigating the case.

Cachalia told The Star that he took issue with Masina’s “unconstitutional and undemocratic threats”, where Masina warned white people not to “divide our nation because if you continue to do so those that sided with you in 1994, they won’t be here in five years. It might be very rough and we are many."

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Ghaleb Cachalia, left, laid incitement and intimidation charges against Mayor Masina at the Elsburg police station. Picture: Supplied

“This is not a threat, we are many and it might be very, very rough,” Masina said to loud applause.

Cachalia said these “reprehensible” remarks from the mayor violated the rules and regulations of council that govern how councillors should conduct themselves in public, which is why the DA wants to hold him accountable.

“When somebody incites people through inflammatory and strong language to take action – speaking about crushing people and about how the responses will be ‘very, very rough’ – we take considerable objection to it."

“He made these comments on a public platform and he must now be held accountable for these statements; within council and outside of council,” Cachalia asserted.

He said the DA had also referred Masina to the Ekurhuleni Ethics and Integrity Committee because the mayor had made his “war talk” and “threats” at an Ekurhuleni branded event, “and as such he must be investigated in his official capacity.”

“This is the talk of a military strongman, not of a democratic mayor. Such talk has no place whatsoever in our constitutional democracy, if Masina respects the constitution at all,” he said.

“We have written to the Ekurhuleni Speaker, Patricia Kumalo, to launch this investigation as no person in South Africa who respects the constitution can allow this to go unpunished.”

The mayor’s office did not respond to detailed questions about the charges laid and the comments he made on Monday. However, Masina’s spokesperson Gugu Ndima said on the ethics and integrity committee referral: “The office of the executive mayor has not received any correspondence to this effect.”

Masina added during his Monday address that white people would not cause the ANC to “relent from building a non-racial, non-sexist democratic and prosperous society because of a few individuals, including their friends from Save South Africa”.

The Star

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