Protest against former eThekwini ANCYL member who allegedly used K-word
Chatsworth residents protested outside the local ANC office over allegations that a Youth League leader, who allegedly called fellow party members the K-word, was still working at the office while disciplinary procedures were pending against her.
The group of disgruntled Ward 73 residents in Chatsworth, Durban held placards and chanted political slogans outside the ANC office on Tuesday.
This, after former ANCYL regional executive committee (REC) member in eThekwini, Suzanne Govender, was suspended on August 22.
A screengrab of a WhatsApp conversation emerged on social media in which she allegedly used the K-word to describe some members in her ward. Later that day, Govender resigned as an REC member.
On Tuesday, the protesters chanted: "Down with racism, down, "Run Suzanne, run", and "We can't be led by someone who is racist".
Resident Londeka Radebe told News24 that they decided to protest because Govender continued working at the ANC office despite her "suspension".
"She is continuing working like everything is normal, despite the disciplinary action against her. We don't know why she is still working there despite the allegations of racism against her. We can't be led by racists," said Radebe.
Radebe said they wanted the ANC to act quickly.
"They must investigate and make her apologise in public if they find her guilty," she said.
But Govender, who was also the ANC's Ward 73 secretary, denied that she continued working for the ANC while the disciplinary process was pending.
She told News24 that she only went to the ANC office on Friday "to fetch" her personal belongings.
"This is now becoming a conspiracy by the people who fabricated this whole thing. They are out to destroy me," she said.
She accused the ANC youth League (ANCYL) leaders in the ward of mobilising people against her.
"If there was such a message, they were supposed to bring it to the structures of the ANC Youth League, not divulge it to the media and social media. Their intention was to cause harm. In fact, what they did was wrong. It's just misinformation that I still work at the office. I am not at work, I was an administrator for the councillor, but I'm no longer [one] until the investigation and all these processes fall out," she said.
She maintained that she did not use the K-word and said it was a political plot which was under investigation.
It also emerged on Tuesday that two of her ANCYL colleagues have also been suspended, allegedly for participating in Govender's alleged racist conversation.
ANYCL regional spokesperson Thulisa Ndlela confirmed that the two leaders were suspended shortly after Govender's suspension.
"Yes, it's true. The investigation continues. They are part of the disciplinary process because Suzanne was apparently in a conversation (WhatsApp) with them and they did not do anything to correct her or rebuke what she was saying. They are also partly to blame for whatever plan Suzanne had of systematically excluding black comrades in the ANCYL," said Ndlela.
"They are both suspended until the conclusion of the disciplinary processes," he said.
Ndlela said it was likely that the residents were marching against the ANC, but not against the Youth League because Govender had resigned from the league and "her duties had been suspended".
Sanyaj Ganesh, the ward's ANC chairperson, was not immediately available for comment. Calls were not answered, and he never responded to text messages.
ANC regional secretary Bheki Ntuli was also not available for comment and could only whisper to News24: "I'm in a meeting".