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DA MP Renaldo Gouws. File picture: X/@RENALDOGOUWS.
DA MP Renaldo Gouws. File picture: X/@RENALDOGOUWS.

The DA has suspended Renaldo Gouws over his “racist rants”, which surfaced on social media days after his swearing in as an MP. The party says it has established the video, in which Gouws uses “execrable language”, is genuine and not fake as initially suspected.

Gouws has been removed from his duties with immediate effect while he faces disciplinary charges before the party’s federal legal commission. DA federal council chair Helen Zille said she hoped that the matter is dealt with speedily.

Zille was emphatic that Gouws’ words could not be seen as a reflection of the DA as a whole.

The former Nelson Mandela Bay councillor has been in the spotlight after he became an MP, with some people on social media posting a video he made in 2009 talking about “reverse apartheid”. He made the comments while decrying then president Jacob Zuma and then ANC Youth League leader Julius Malema singing songs (Dubul’ ibhunu) about killing people based on their race.

In the latest instalment that surfaced overnight, the MP asked what would happen if a white person advocated the same. He is heard saying: “Alright, so there’s a couple of things I want to say. Kill the f*cking k*ffirs, kill all the f*cking n*ggers.”

It was previously reported that in the video Gouws implied that while white people were painted as the enemy, “if Africa had to disappear off the face of the earth, no-one would f*cking notice”.

The SA Human Rights Commission (SAHRC) said on Thursday it would institute proceedings at the equality court in Gqeberha against Gouws for the alleged racial utterances relating to online media posts.

“In the video, Mr Gouws allegedly calls for the killing of black people using extremely offensive and derogatory language. This explicit content, initially published on his YouTube channel in March 2010, was archived despite being deleted, and has resurfaced, revealing behaviour that is incompatible with the principles of dignity and equality enshrined in SA law,” the SAHRC said. 

Dismissed claims

DA leader John Steenhuisen previously defended Gouws by attributing his past comments to youthful indiscretion. 

Gouws said the video dated back to “when I was young and still a student”. While he said he regretted the tone he used then, Gouws dismissed claims he was racist.

However, the party has since made the decision to recall him temporarily while it probes the charges against him in its internal disciplinary structures. 

Gouws is no stranger to controversy. His YouTube videos speaking about racial matters and challenges in SA usually go viral, with many people challenging his perspective. 

Opponents of the government of national unity have criticised the ANC for forming a partnership with what they call a “racist” DA.

Zille said: “The DA is committed to nonracialism. We subscribe to the constitution and believe that SA belongs to all who live in it, united in our diversity. Denigrating, insulting and demeaning any category of people on the basis of identity characteristics is completely unacceptable to the DA and violates the DA’s constitution. 

“We also believe in due process. This is why Renaldo has been suspended and will face a disciplinary hearing.”


Updated: June 20 2024
This article was updated to include comment by the SAHRC and Helen Zille.

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