It’s usually the likes of ANC Youth League president Julius Malema who anger the Afrikaner community, but now DA parliamentary leader Athol Trollip finds himself in the same boat.
Trollip may have to face the SA Human Rights Commission and the Equality Court after he referred to the chairman of the National Ratepayers Association of South Africa, Jaap Kelder, as an “a***hole and the reincarnation of the AWB, KP, FF+ and Nazi”.
The Pro-Afrikaanse Aksiegroep (Praag) on Monday said it had laid a charge of hate speech against Trollip with the commission.
Vincent Moaga, spokesman for the SAHRC, said he could not confirm receipt of the complaint, “but it could be in the system”.
Dan Roodt, the director of Praag, said Trollip’s comments were disparaging of all Afrikaners.
This follows an e-mail accidentally sent by Trollip to the man he was criticising.
The e-mail read: “Please answer this a***hole (Kelder) once and for all, deal with the Afrikaner issue he raises and tell him to stop masquerading as a ratepayer organisation especially if he is the reincarnation of the AWB, KP, FF+, Nazi.
“Stuur die IDIOOT in sy moer asseblief (Get rid of the IDIOT please). Athol.”
Trollip intended to send the e-mail to his colleague, DA MP Annette Steyn, but instead e-mailed it to Kelder.
Now Praag claims Trollip’s comments were directed at Afrikaners in general and implied that those of “colonial British descent are more intelligent than Afrikaners”.
Trollip, his chief of staff, and DA national spokeswoman Lindiwe Mazibuko could not be reached for comment on Monday.
Roodt said: “We are a threatened minority group. And Trollip’s comments indicated that he said that anybody who identifies themselves as Afrikaner is like Jaap (an a***hole, idiot and reincarnation of AWB, Nazi).”
There seemed to be an increasing intolerance of Afrikaners and by taking up the matter the group was protecting its identity, Roodt said.
He slammed the DA as a “liberal English party who are reinvigorating British imperialism”.
“Trollip can’t even see what he did wrong because according to him Afrikaners like Jaap are so far beneath him, as if they are the master race of the world,” said Roodt.
Kelder told Independent Newspapers last week that his lawyer had advised him not to take legal action because he had made the comments public and not Trollip.
The saga followed Mazibuko’s statements in Parliament during the rural development and land reform budget vote last week.
She had said: “Now the ANC government’s aims may be similar to those of the DA, but its state-centred approach and its failed policy implementation are vastly different.
“And they have had the effect of ultimately hampering the achievement of these all-important goals.”
FF+ MP Pieter Groenewald responded later in a speech, which had been forwarded to Kelder, that Mazibuko’s statements proved that the DA and ANC were sitting around the same fire regarding land reform.
Kelder then sent a letter to the DA last week requesting clarity on its land reform stance.
This prompted Trollip to ask Steyn to respond to him, but the e-mail was sent directly to Kelder and not Steyn.
Kelder called on Trollip to make a donation to an Afrikaner charity by way of an apology.
Trollip last week dismissed this suggestion as the “most cosmetic, venal way to apologise”.
He said while he was not proud of his “unfortunate language” he was “not sorry for identifying him (Kelder) for what he is”.
“It wasn’t supposed to go to the whole country. I wanted to send it to Annette Steyn, but I sent it to Jaap who sent it to the whole country,” said Trollip. - Political Bureau