DA MP’s comments ‘unacceptable’
Cape Town - DA chief whip John Steenhuisen is to meet the party’s former national spokesperson, MP Marius Redelinghuys, this week to discuss the comments he made to UCT student Zizipho Pae on Facebook.
DA federal council chairperson James Selfe confirmed this on Monday, saying Steenhuisen has undertaken to deal with the matter.
Selfe had received a letter from the Christian View Network (CVN) demanding Redelinghuys’ removal from office for “a long series of mocking, insulting and other pro-homosexual messages which amount to harassment”.
Redelinghuys denied harassing Pae, but has admitted to responding to her Facebook post by saying: “We are institutionalising and normalising sin! Sin. May God have mercy on us.”
Pae said she had reacted to the US Supreme Court sanctioning same-sex marriages.
CVN director Philip Rosenthal said it was unacceptable for people to engage in internet harassment and “doubly disturbing” that this person was a DA national spokesperson.
Redelinghuys is no longer the DA’s spokesperson.
Rosenthal said Redelinghuys had referred to the “Pink Mafia”, who had vandalised Pae’s office at UCT, in his online comments and that Redelinghuys had admitted to being part of the group.
“It is evident that he is unaware of the legitimate legal boundaries of free speech – either for himself or his opponents, which indicates to me he is not a suitable person for such political seniority. I deny his claim (that) this is a personal matter, as I had never heard of him or Ms Zizipho Pae before he threatened her.
“I have a 25-year history of advocacy to defend religious freedom, which is my motivation,” Rosenthal said.
Redelinghuys responded: “There is clearly no such thing as the Pink Mafia. I’m not its South African ring leader and it poses no threat to anyone.
“But it is a convenient bogeyman for Mr Rosenthal, his disproportionate fascination with gay people and his crusade against gay rights and the equal treatment of all people everywhere.”
Pae has requested that UCT vice-chancellor Max Price review a recent decision by the Student Representative Council (SRC) to have her removed, saying that in the absence of appropriate steps, she would take the matter to court. UCT spokesperson Pat Lucas said Price would engage the SRC on the matter.