'We cannot tolerate such racism in our country': Hanekom weighs in on Zuma backer's alleged racist rant

17 October 2022 - 10:10
By Unathi Nkanjeni
Former tourism minister and ANC stalwart Derek Hanekom. File photo.
Image: SUNDAY TIMES Former tourism minister and ANC stalwart Derek Hanekom. File photo.

Former tourism minister and ANC stalwart Derek Hanekom has weighed in on Jacob Zuma's benefactor Louis Liebenberg's alleged racist rant.

The alleged racist rant was reported by Rapport and circulated online at the weekend. In it, the controversial diamond dealer allegedly said the then-apartheid government should have wiped out Soweto with an atomic bomb.

Liebenberg can also be heard using the “k-word” frequently. 

The businessman claimed the voice notes containing the rant were manipulated by his enemies. His lawyer later said the recordings were fabricated.

Hanekom said the rant was a criminal offence and Zuma's supporters should distance themselves from the controversy.

“We cannot tolerate such racism in our country. It is actually a criminal offence. Surely even Zuma supporters would want to distance themselves from this, or are they all captured by whoever gives them money?” he asked.

Liebenberg last week pledged R500,000 to fund the former president's private prosecution of National Prosecuting Authority (NPA) advocate Billy Downer and News24 journalist Karyn Maughan.

According to reports, Liebenberg and Zuma have been close for some time. Earlier this year he gifted Zuma two Nguni cows and last month he attended the Supreme Court of Appeal hearing in which Zuma appealed against a ruling by the Pretoria high court declaring the decision by former prisons boss Arthur Fraser to grant him medical parole unlawful.

In July 2021, Liebenberg had R100m in assets frozen by the NPA after allegations of money laundering and running a Ponzi scheme. 

Speaking on SAfm, Liebenberg said “God” told him to give Zuma half a million and visit his Nkandla home.

“I've been praying and fasting about this, and then I felt I should go to Nkandla. I went without any planning. It's not that I had long friendship with the [former] president, but I felt that this country is in trouble and we cannot afford another uprising like in Durban,” he said.

Liebenberg said during his one-and-a-half-hour visit, he spoke to Zuma about Afrikaners, farm murders, corruption, criminality and a possible uprising. 

When asked if any terms and conditions were attached to the R500,000 donation, Liebenberg said the public should be less worried by the donation and more the state of the nation.

“You care about R500,000 for a man that has been unjustifiably hunted down by state security, by everybody, by [President Cyril] Ramaphosa and by the Constitutional Court — and you worry about R500,000? A normal citizen with a good heart would go and rescue a person who has never been proven that he’s guilty,” Liebenberg said. 

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