Suzanne Govender
Image: Facebook/Suzanne Govender

The Ahmed Kathrada Foundation has condemned racist remarks allegedly made by ANC Youth League eThekwini regional executive member Suzanne Govender.

Govender resigned earlier this week after a WhatsApp conversation with a colleague in which she allegedly used the k-word was posted on Facebook.

Ahmed Kathrada Foundation executive director Neeshan Balton said: “It’s perturbing that an ANC member‚ someone who should have been schooled not only in the policies of the party but in its non-racial history‚ has reportedly used such terminology. The ANC’s core objective as a liberation movement was its fight against racial oppression. It is disappointing that someone who was serving on its youth league regional leadership structures is alleged to hold such racist views.”

The ANCYL eThekwini region welcomed Govender’s resignation in a statement on Wednesday. The ANCYL in ward 73 in Chatsworth opened a case against Govender.

Govender told the Daily News she was the victim of a smear campaign and did not respond to earlier queries from TimesLIVE.

ANCYL eThekwini regional secretary Thinta Cibane said they had started formal disciplinary proceedings against Govender.

“We have written to the leadership of the ANC to institute formal disciplinary action in order to send a message that the movement will not tolerate any acts that seek to divide and cause tensions amongst our people.”

The foundation said it was important that South Africans were not “letting them (racists) slide”.

“Ordinary people are calling out racists and it is something that they should be commended for and encouraged to continue. It’s only if we tackle racists head on that we’re going to cut to the core of the issue.”

Balton also criticised businessman Adam Catzavelos after he apologised for a video of him using the k-word which went viral on Tuesday.

“He (Catzavelos) has almost skirted around frankly admitting that he is a racist‚ and has not told the South African public what he is going to do to make amends. With regards to Govender‚ should outcomes of the various investigations into the matter find her guilty‚ we hope not to get an empty‚ half-hearted apology‚ as we have seen in previous instances.”