Racist spat: National Coloured Congress’ Fadiel Adams says ‘sorry’ to City manager

National Coloured Congress president Fadiel Adams. Picture: Ayanda Ndamane/Independent Newspapers

National Coloured Congress president Fadiel Adams. Picture: Ayanda Ndamane/Independent Newspapers

Published Mar 13, 2024

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Cape Town - National Coloured Congress (NCC) president Fadiel Adams says he has put the racist public spat involving City Manager Lungelo Mbandazayo behind him.

This comes after he followed an Equality Court order and apologised to Mbandazayo and retracted his offensive remarks.

Adams claimed in the letter of apology that he had momentarily lost sight of the principles of integrity, respect, and dignity as well as the judicial authorities.

“I, hereby unconditionally, without any qualification, tender my sincere apologies to the Honourable Mangcu-Lockwood and Mr Lungelo Mbandazayo for any offending remarks I made during the aforementioned social media post,” Adams said.

“I, hereby retract the comments I made and acknowledge that they were completely unjustified and uncalled for.”

Adams and the city manager bumped heads back in 2018 when a contract for repairing staircases in residential flats on the Cape Flats was cancelled.

During a Live Facebook broadcast in February and March last year, Adams referred to Mbandazayo as “from the Eastern Cape”, which the court ruled to be racially offensive.

Judge Nobahle Mangcu-Lockwood determined that Adams’ usage of the term was a racist cliché meant to depict Mbandazayo as inferior and unable, rather than a neutral geographic reference.

Adams was ordered to remove the social media post, issue a public apology to Mbandazayo, and enrol or undertake a programme on racial sensitivity training at his own expense at the end of May.

He also had to pay for Mbandazayo’s legal costs.

Commenting yesterday, Adams said: “I will comply with the court because we are a party that believes in the rule of law.

“If I was wrong let me apologise but let the city manager answer the questions that we posed. Let him answer the questions.

“We move on, we have criminals to root out here. Here are people who are stealing the coloured people blind and they have been getting away with it for years.”

The City did not respond to questions addressed to Mbandazayo yesterday.

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