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Marais' 'influx' remarks to be referred to SAHRC

12 Mar 2023

PETER Marais of the Freedom Front Plus could land in hot water if the ANC pursues plans to lodge formal complaints regarding his utterances on black people in the Western Cape. I File `VOLKSTAAT CALL' Marais' 'influx' remarks to be referred to SAHRC BRANDON NEL This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. THE ANC in the Western Cape will turn to the Human Rights Commission SAHRC to deal with remarks made by Peter Marais of the Freedom Front Plus on Thursday. Marais, in the Western Cape legislature, took swipes at African people, saying their influx into the Western Cape was hampering the province's efforts to expand its resources and turned its demographics on its head.
Marais said: "We call for the empowerment of the coloured and Khoi emerging farmers in this province, entrepreneurs and Indian households who are on housing waiting lists, as these minorities are neglected and receive very little benefits in terms of the labour equity law and housing. "We call on the Western Cape government to take remedial action to prevent racial tensions escalating and flaring up because of a fight for scarce resources by the influx ... the racists are the ANC at national level." ANC chief whip Pat Lekker, during the sitting, said Marais' utterances were uncalled for. "I rise at this moment feeling worn out and at pains with what is happening in the House, particularly when we are being called foreigners in our own country," said Lekker. "I really do not take it in kind whatever the altercation was to refer to black people as foreigners," she said. On Friday, the ANC's opposition leader in the legislature, Cameron Dugmore, said they would approach the office of the SAHRC. "What Peter Marais said in the legislature was deeply racist and insulting ... he turned to the black African members of the ANC and said 'you are refugees'. "In essence he was saying they have no right to live in this province ... in my eyes, this is hate speech," he said. Dugmore said they were also mulling instituting legal action by approaching the Equality Court. " I will also lay a complaint against Peter Marais with the registrar for breaching the code of conduct for members," he said. "We will also lodge a complaint with the registrar against speaker Daylin Mitchell, who refused to act immediately against Marais when the ANC objected and requested the speaker to rule immediately on the matter and ask Marais to withdraw," Dugmore said, adding that "this is nothing but a call for a Western Cape volkstaat independent state ".

SAHRC commissioner Chris Nissen said the commission condemned any racist remarks. "We condemn any and all bigotry such as racism," Nissen told the Weekend Argus on Friday. "We invite anyone to register such complaints with the HRC, from ordinary citizens to politicians ... hate speech goes beyond insults or offensive language and may infringe the dignity of certain persons or groups," he said. Freedom Front Plus leader Dr Pieter Groenewald told the Weekend Argus that he would engage Marais to ascertain the facts around what transpired during the sitting. In recent years, hate speech utterances have seen a number of South Africans convicted. The Penny Sparrow matter involved a controversial Facebook post likening black beachgoers to monkeys.

Source: Sunday Weekend Argus

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