Terre'Blanche 'apie' comment taken to rights commission

A complaint to the South African Human Rights Commission (SAHRC) has been lodged against Afrikaner Weerstansdbeweging (AWB) leader Eugene Terre’Blanche for a comment he made in Pretoria over the weekend.

Communications Department official Panyaza Lesufi lodged the formal complaint in his personal capacity with the support of musicians, actors, government officials and communication workers.

“The days of racists having a free reign to insult us and our leaders is over,” Lesufi said.

The City Press on Sunday reported that Terre’Blanche pointed at the statue of Chief Tshwane at the old Pretoria City Hall and referred to him as an “apie [monkey]”.

“It’s something we believe is disgusting and we find it strange that he makes an openly racist statement like that and no one challenges it,” Lesufi said.

“As South Africans, it falls upon us to raise these things ... we are long past that stage.”

Lesufi asked the commission to probe the remark and ascertain if the 68-year-old AWB leader had violated his parole conditions.

He further called on South Africans, particularly Afrikaners, to denounce Terre’Blanche’s remarks and urge him to apologise.

The City Press report quotes AWB supporters declaring that they “hate[d] kaffirs”. Lesufi included this in his complaint to the commission, urging it to “appropriately sanction” Terre’Blanche and these members.

The complaint was supported by actor Rapulane Seiphemo, South African Democratic Teachers’ Union general secretary Mugwena Maluleke, comedian David Kau, actor and comedian Desmond Dube, Mail & Guardian journalist Mmanaledi Mataboge, education department spokesperson Ranjeni Munusamy and Kgosi Maepa, adviser to the Tshwane mayor.

The SAHRC said the complaint was with its legal services department.—Sapa

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