Picture: Phill Magakoe/African News Agency (ANA) Archives
Cape Town - A senior ANC councillor has taken the party to the Human Rights Commission (HRC) after a racially heated altercation with another councillor.

Sammy Claasen, ANC councillor in the West Coast, said he has been discriminated against on the basis of his coloured and Khoisan ethnic heritage, within the ANC.

Claasen said he endured personal, verbal and emotional ethnic racism and discrimination, at the hands of an ANC councillor at the Saldanha Bay Municipality during the ANC West Coast Regional Conference on August 26.

“What followed after that incident was shocking when I realised that the provincial leaders and deployees to that conference turned a blind eye to my immediate complaints at the conference venue.

“They were simply not prepared to stop the racial abuse I had to suffer verbally and through isi- Xhosa songs at the conference.

“It was a painful, heartbreaking experience aimed at me in the presence of fellow comrades who were too scared and intimidated to comfort me,” Claasen said.

He said he felt like an outcast and dehumanised “by so-called revolutionaries”.

“I was clearly not welcome and trusted because of my Khoisan activism, belief, culture and heritage.

“Ethnic intolerance and discrimination has ‘slapped’ me with brutality, and the real ANC were not there for me in that moment of emotional and constitutional abuse,” he said.

ANC West Coast secretary Neville Delpoort said Claasen’s complaint was against councillor Siyabulela Mafenuka.

“We are all Africans and we reject any continuation of entrenching social divides not of our making and we condemn anyone who seeks to pin such racial divide on any ANC member or structure,” Delpoort said.

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Cape Argus