Ward councillor Joy McCarthy has landed in hot water over her alleged racist comments made when objecting to the inclusion of social housing in the Table View area, describing the process akin to “turning your neighbourhood into Khayelitsha by the sea”.
Former City employee Mark Rountree lodged a complaint with City Speaker Dirk Smit last year following a telephonic discussion with McCarthy where she allegedly made the comments.
Rountree, an executive support officer within the Transport and Urban Development Authority at the time, had responded to an email McCarthy sent to mayor Dan Plato and called to clarify her concerns.
He said their discussion in November last year was to explain in detail the planning decisions for the Table View area.
“The councillor had raised her concerns regarding her neighbourhood being unreasonably targeted for densification and making several allegations surrounding inclusive housing in the area.
“I believed the request to stop housing projects because they supposedly make (formerly white) neighbourhoods ‘look like Khayelitsha by the sea’ was bigoted, racist and contravened the Councillors Code of Conduct.”
Now a Good party member, Rountree said he has not had any feedback from the City regarding his complaint since January.
“I was informed that the matter was still under investigation.”
Rountree said McCarthy was “infamous” for her views and he believed she should be held accountable.
In a correspondence, also copied to Smit and City manager Lungelo Mban- dazayo, Rountree outlines his issues with McCarthy’s comments, saying: “I found this statement made to me during our telephone call on Monday (November 19, 2018) to be racist and bigoted in the extreme.
“I am astounded that such views still survive in this day and age; and so much more disappointing that they are freely uttered by elected public representatives to government employees.”
Approached for comment yesterday, McCarthy said she had received the complaint in writing from Smit and had responded to him in full.
She said while she had dealings with Rountree, comment on the mat- ter would have to be referred to Smit directly.
Smit said: “The office of the speaker views all disciplinary matters as being privileged and confidential in terms of the applicable legislation, as councillors have a right to confidentiality, similar to the practice in all disciplinary matters.
“Due to this fact, my office will not be issuing any comment on the matter at this time.”
ANC provincial leader Xolani Sotashe said: “I am not surprised by this councillor’s utterance, it is the view of the DA.
“They (DA) have time and time again shown their true colours, as in Communicare selling the Foreshore building to a foreign investor.
“They did not intervene and this shows that talk of integration and undoing spatial apartheid is just that, talk – and allowing gentrification to continue is to protect white supremacy.”