Afrikanerbond slams Pahad over 2010 comments

The Afrikanerbond on Friday lodged a complaint of hate speech against Minister in the Presidency Essop Pahad following his remarks that some whites were not supportive of South Africa’s hosting of the Soccer World Cup.

“The formal complaint was handed to Jody Kollapen, chairman of the Human Rights Commission this morning [Friday],” said Afrikanerbond managing director Jan Bosman.

Beeld quoted Pahad as saying that there were a lot of whites who didn’t support the national soccer team Bafana Bafana.

“They don’t even care that the Soccer World Cup will take place in South Africa,” the paper quoted him telling a press conference in Beijing, China, on Thursday.

Bosman said the statement was of huge concern as it was a form of incitement and that Pahad should know better.

It said he made use of “cheap politics” by abusing his opportunity to showcase South Africa in China. It said Pahad had broken the rules of a tolerant society “on an international platform, harmed the image of South Africa irreparably and promoted hate-speech”.

Democratic Alliance (DA) chief whip Ian Davidson said: “There is simply no evidence to suggest that any group of South Africans is against staging the 2010 Soccer World Cup in South Africa”.

Davidson said the comment contrasted with what the minister said earlier about getting the public to support the tournament.

The party said it would remain “fully” supportive of the tournament and would do all that was necessary to ensure it was successful.

“Thankfully, Pahad himself will no longer be in government when the tournament kicks off.
It is clear that he is ill-able to make it the successful event that we know it will be,” said Davidson.

The DA said that Pahad’s comment was “proof that government is beginning to panic about our readiness for 2010”.

United Democratic Movement for Change leader Bantu Holomisa said Essop’s comment was “ridiculous ... He badmouths our country and its citizens”.

Pahad is part of the Local Organising Committee tasked with organising the tournament.

“His statement is utter rubbish, white people vote in large numbers for his party, whilst his party and their government have promoted numerous white people into leadership positions,” said Holomisa.

The party said there were several ministers who resorted to “war-talk or playing the race card to appease the new faction controlling the African National Congress.

“He has realised that he’s about to be removed from his posh position in the presidency and Local Organising Committee, and this is just a pathetic attempt to ingratiate himself with the prospective new president and his supporters, who seem to value wild militancy highly,” added Holomisa. - Sapa

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