Cape mayor fires adviser over racial comments

Cape Town mayor Nomaindia Mfeketo has fired her media adviser Blackman Ngoro over his controversial website remarks about coloureds.

Mfeketo made the announcement on Monday after receiving the report of an internal council inquiry, saying the affair has “really created racial disharmony” in the city.

Ngoro went on leave after it was revealed last month that he was the author of an article on his own website that claimed Africans were culturally superior to coloureds, who would “die a drunken death” if they did not undergo ideological transformation.

Mfeketo told journalists on Monday that a key recommendation of the inquiry was that Ngoro should be charged with misconduct in terms of the council code-of-conduct rule that employees should at all times act in the municipality’s best interests.

“However, I have decided to terminate Mr Ngoro’s contract of employment with the City of Cape Town with immediate effect,” she said.

She said Ngoro might argue that this is a breach of his contract, which provides for four weeks’ notice, and that he has not been given an opportunity to defend himself.

However, she said, she took a principled rather than a technical decision. The city’s human resources division will deal with “those issues” when they arise.

“I’m going the short route because of the nature of this issue in creating racial disharmony,” she said.

Mfeketo said she does not believe the Ngoro affair will harm the African National Congress’s chances in the city in the coming local government election.

People know what the ANC stands for and has fought for: non-racialism and the freedom of all South Africans.

“I don’t think there can be anybody who doubts the views of the ANC,” she said.

She hopes her decision will help the city to focus its energies again “on the main challenges facing our people”.

Mfeketo said she was initially prepared to let the matter rest with only an apology from Ngoro and the removal of the article from the website.

“I was of the genuine belief that this apology would be accepted by the greater community and we would be able to put this unhappy episode behind us,” she said.

“However, when a day or so later the controversy did not seem to abate, and in fact escalated, I ordered that an investigative inquiry be held by the city’s legal department.”

The Democratic Alliance, acting on behalf of a group of “concerned citizens”, has laid a complaint against Ngoro in the Equality Court.—Sapa

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