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DA councillor accused of using k-word against officer apologises

By Staff Reporter Time of article published Sep 15, 2021

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CAPE TOWN: DA George ward councillor accused of using the k-word against a senior law-enforcement officer during a phone call has apologised to her “mixed-race” family.

Chief law-enforcement officer, Siyasanga Vandala lodged a complaint against Councillor Iona Kritzinger, and police have confirmed they are investigating.

Vandala said when he got the call, an upset Kritzinger ordered him to remove “vagrants” from a house.

“I was at the office and I received a call from an 072 number, and I answered the call, the person just said ‘come and remove these vagrants in my property’. She said apparently I bring vagrants to her property. I asked who this was and she said, ’I’m councillor Kritzinger’. I thought it was a prank call because no one has my number and I am new in George.”

Vandala said he asked Kritzinger to give him her details so he could assist her.

“I said please calm down, and she said, ‘No you come and remove these vagrants, you f****n bloody k****r’. Unfortunately, I was alone in my office when she uttered those words,” he said.

But Kritzinger has described Vandala’s claims as “a flagrant lie and an egregious fabrication”.

“I did not curse Vandala; I did not insult Vandala; I did not demean Vandala. I reported an incident demanding his immediate professional attention,” she said in a statement dated September 5.

She said she had been informed of vagrancy in Dormehlsdrift, where she represents the DA.

“I immediately called on the George Municipal Management and was directed to Mr Siyasanga Vandala, newly appointed head of law-enforcement, for official intervention.

“The conversation was made difficult by poor sound quality. Both Vandala and me complained to each other that it was very difficult for one to hear the other. Vandala clearly did not yet know his way about the George suburbs and directions were made more difficult by the poor sound quality.”

She said SAPS officers dispersed the alleged trespassers, and she withdrew after a few last words with the complainant who had been at her side during the conversation with Vandala.

“I am reliably and happily informed of an affidavit by another who overheard the speaker phone conversation. I received a phone call alerting me that Vandala, municipal manager Michelle Gratz, and director community services Alan Paulse were demanding charges against me on the strength of a Vandala claim that I insulted him with an abhorrent racial slur prefixed by a sexually loaded adjective. This is devoid of any and all velleity of fact. It is a flagrant lie. It is an egregious fabrication. I did not curse Vandala; I did not insult Vandala; I did not demean Vandala. I reported an incident demanding his immediate professional attention.

“I do have an apology to make: I am the grandmother in a mixed-race family, and I apologise to my beloved grandchildren and my dearest daughter-in-law that they would possibly have to be exposed to some unthinkable allegation that their Ouma had slurred them. How inconceivable of any mind can it possibly be that I would do such an unimaginable thing. How preposterous. How abominable,” said Kritzinger.

“For the benefit of the obstinate who would read in this apology some semblance of acknowledgement of the deception and deceit: I did not curse Vandala, and this apology is to my family for the discomfort caused by the role I play in the often times toxic theatre of local politics.”

Cape Times

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