The ANC in the Free State has released a statement in which it confirmed that it has temporarily suspended its Matjhabeng Municipality Mayor, Nkosinjani Speelman, for “racist utterances”.
The suspension came after a video starting trending on social media, in which Speelman can be heard addressing SANDF soldiers, who had been deployed to maintain order during the lockdown period.
He encourages the soldiers to ‘Skop and Donner’ the “Boesmannetjies” of Bronville and says that “when you close them, they get out and drink again”.
Speelman’s comments led to a flood of complaints sent to the Human Rights Commission, forcing him to apologise.
However, the apology did not stop the complaints, eventually resulting in his suspension.
After a meeting held by the top officials in the Free State, they stated they “considered the issue” to be uncalled for, racist and “does not represent the views of the ANC regarding the standing of coloured people in the country”
As a result, Speelman has been “temporarily” suspended “as both member of the ANC and public representative” as a result of contravening rules which “prohibits and classifies as misconduct all forms of racist utterances”.
This response is in sharp contrast to that of the Democratic Alliance, which had taken no action against a Mayor who had allegedly made similar statements.
Last year, it was alleged that the DA’s Swartland Municipality Mayor, Tijmen van Essen, declared at a meeting that “coloured people are not competent to hold positions of leadership or office”.
At the time, instead of investigating the matter, the DA chose to defend van Essen and attack those laying a complaint against him.
Van Essen is still currently serving as the mayor and the DA has still not taken any steps to address the matter.