The KwaZulu-Natal ANC Women’s League (ANCWL) has called for swift action against a Facebook user who posted a picture depicting Co-operative Governance and Traditional Affairs Minister Nkosazana Dlamini Zuma as an ape.
Picture: GCIS
The KwaZulu-Natal ANC Women’s League (ANCWL) has called for swift action against a Facebook user who posted a picture depicting Co-operative Governance and Traditional Affairs Minister Nkosazana Dlamini Zuma as an ape. Picture: GCIS

Call for legal action over Dlamini Zuma post

By Kailene Pillay Time of article published Jun 1, 2020

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Durban - The KwaZulu-Natal ANC Women’s League (ANCWL) has called for swift action against a Facebook user who posted a picture depicting Co-operative Governance and Traditional Affairs Minister Nkosazana Dlamini Zuma as an ape.

Social media users began the search for the man who posted the image as he was only identified as “Danie Herselman”, allegedly from the Western Cape.

The SA Council of Churches (SACC) confirmed it had laid an official complaint with the South African Human Rights Commission (SAHRC).

While the SAHRC could not be reached to confirm that it was investigating the matter, its Gauteng provincial manager, Buang Jones, tweeted that it had received the complaint from the SACC.

Bishop Malusi Mpumlwana, General Secretary of the SACC, yesterday said: “Human beings are created in the image of God. To impute that a human being is an ape is, in the first instance, an insult to the image of God after whom the person is created.

“But there are other very important aspects related to our constitutional premise. Our constitutional dispensation, which the SAHRC as an institution is charged to support from a human rights perspective, provides for the protection of citizens against the evil of both racism and sexism.

Mpumlwana said they reported the matter to advocate Tseliso Thipanyane of the SAHRC.

“We want the SAHRC to urgently investigate Mr Herselman for the possible criminal display of racist and sexist expressions to detract from the inalienable human dignity of the victim of his palpable venom, Dr Dlamini Zuma, and by extension, black women, and black people in general - this in the context of the historical racist association by racists, of black people with apes. We have asked that they investigate and possibly prefer charges at the Equality Court, and maybe also in the normal courts for the possible charge of crimen injuria.”

Dlamini Zuma has faced strong criticism since the start of the lockdown due to the government’s stance on the banning of cigarette sales.

The ANCWL in KZN said it was deeply upset by the “vicious attack” and strongly condemned it.

“The wish of Imbokodo (women) is to see this attacker of Dlamini Zuma shamed and behind bars.

“We see this racist attack on Nkosazana Dlamini Zuma as an attack on our hard-earned democracy, and women in particular. This racist has grossly undermined the human rights of Dlamini Zuma. We urge the police to arrest him,” said provincial secretary Nonhlahla Gabela.

The ANCWL said it believed the attacks on Dlamini Zuma stemmed from her hardline stance on the ban of tobacco products in the country.

The group said it stood firm on the tobacco ban and reaffirmed its support for this stance due to the detrimental effects of cigarette products on the health of smokers and non-smokers alike.

In a separate statement, the Western Cape ANCYL said it was “outraged and incensed by the cruel, racist, and misogynist” attack on Dlamini Zuma.

“We thought that in building a non-racial society and forging national unity and also reconciliation, the racists would grow quiet. We were wrong. In the past few years, we have seen racists in the white community boldly stepping out and venting their poisonous and hate-filled views,” the league said.

It said it would lay a charge at the Equality Court in Cape Town today against the man who allegedly posted the racist image and comment. “We hope that this court will treat our complaint as an urgent one, because these racist views are not only a wanton abuse of freedom of expression, but can also stir up racial tensions,” the league said.

In a statement on Saturday, ANC spokesperson Pule Mabe condemned the attack on Dlamini Zuma, saying the comments were “racist, sexist and misogynistic”.

“We view this as a gross human rights violation and add our voice to calls made by the ANCWL for the Human Rights Commission and SAPS to immediately investigate and take appropriate action in this matter.”

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