The investigation, confirmed by the city’s Investigations and Integrity Unit (CIIU), follows an official complaint that the head of one of eThekwini’s units, allegedly referred to Krish Kumar, deputy city manager in treasury, and other officials of Indian descent as “c*****s.
These allegations emanated from recorded telephone conversations between the official and one of the employees in the same unit.
Minority Front (MF) leader Shameen Rajbansi said she awaited the Integrity Unit’s investigation to verify the recordings and bring the official to book.
“The unit should set an example with respect to racially motivated hate speech, including the use of derogatory terminology for people of Indian descent.
“The MF will take up this issue if it is overlooked because officials must be trained in race relations as part of workplace cultural diversity and ethics,” she said.
In one of the recorded conversations, the official is heard referring to “corrupt c*****s” and “c*****s” five times, while explaining a strategy that should be used to retain another employee who was suspended.
The IFP called for a speedy investigation of the matter. Party leader Mdu Nkosi said: “Unnecessary delays in wrapping up this matter will dent the integrity of the city and its council.
“We speak of social cohesion where we want to ensure that despite our different skin colour we need to strive towards the same goal, which is nation-building and a brighter future for the next generation.”
The DA called for the suspension of the official in question.
Caucus leader Nicole Graham said the name-calling was very concerning.
“The fact that he would call a person of Indian origin such a derogatory name, especially a person as respected as Krish Kumar, is completely disgusting,” she said.