ANCYL eThekwini suspends member who allegedly used k-word on WhatsApp

The ANC Youth League (ANCYL) in the eThekwini region has suspended a regional executive committee (REC) member who allegedly used the k-word in a WhatsApp conversation to describe party members in her ward in Chatsworth.

ANCYL spokesperson in the region, Thulisa Ndlela, confirmed to News24 on Wednesday that Suzanne Govender, who is also the ANC's ward 73 secretary, had been suspended with immediate effect.

In one of the replies on a screen grab of Govender's WhatsApp conversation doing the rounds on social media, she writes: "I got a feeling its those k****r madirs frm Welbedacht (sic)".

It was not immediately clear who she was chatting to and when the conversation was recorded.

Ndlela said the league became aware of the matter on Monday and "that's why she has already been charged".

He said according to the party's rules, such an allegation was classified as a "grave" offence and because of its seriousness, she must be brought before a disciplinary committee.

"But if the person is a leader, you then suspend [them] pending the outcome of the disciplinary hearing," Ndlela said.

He said Govender's branch indicated it would open a case of hate speech with the police.

"We gave them our blessings because it is important that the ANC and the ANCYL must be the first ones to act against any actions that remotely resemble racism. We act swiftly against racism," he said.

"We can confirm that the disciplinary process has started," he said.

Ndlela said, in terms of the organisation's constitution, the whole process would take approximately one month.

"She will be given time to present her case and then the verdict will be made," he said.

Govender's responsibilities in the party have been suspended until the disciplinary process has been completed.

The ANCYL in Govender's ward said in a statement that it believed that her utterances were "dangerous, reckless, harmful, prejudicial, discriminatory, and toxic to the unity of the entire ANC".

ANCYL ward 73 chair Jarad Naicker said they were in the process of opening a case with the police and they would also submit a complaint of hate speech to the South African Human Rights Commission.

"Ward 73 completely distances itself from her racist outbursts and will allow internal disciplinary processes to proceed without fear or favour," said Naicker.

Despite several calls and messages made to her, Govender was not immediately available for comment.