DA to take Zuma’s backer Louis Liebenberg to Equality Court over viral ‘racist’ rant

19 October 2022 - 08:00
By Kyle Zeeman
Louis Liebenberg has faced a backlash over an alleged racist rant. File photo.
Image: Gallo Images/Darren Stewart Louis Liebenberg has faced a backlash over an alleged racist rant. File photo.

The DA is taking action against former president Jacob Zuma’s benefactor Louis Liebenberg over an alleged racist rant.

The alleged racist comments were reported by Rapport and circulated online at the weekend. The controversial diamond dealer allegedly said the apartheid government should have wiped out Soweto with an atomic bomb. He allegedly frequently used the “k-word”. 

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

Responding to the report, the DA said it would lay a complaint with the Equality Court to ensure Liebenberg "is held to account for his despicable utterances”.

“The DA strongly condemns any form of discrimination, including racism, which has no place in our society.” 

The party said it had reported Liebenberg to the SA Human Rights Commission in 2020 when a video clip of him imitating “Cyril” (Ramaphosa) and suggested being black allowed you to be corrupt emerged, but the complaint was rejected.

Among those who weighed in on the rant was Derek Hanekom. The former tourism minister and ANC stalwart said it was a criminal offence and Zuma’s supporters should distance themselves from the controversy.

“We cannot tolerate such racism in our country. It is 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 and Zuma are reportedly close, with the businessman having visited Zuma’s Nkandla homestead and recently pledging R500,000 to fund the former president’s private prosecution of National Prosecuting Authority advocate Billy Downer and News24 journalist Karyn Maughan. Earlier this year he gifted Zuma two Nguni cows.

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