SACP denounces Mashaba’s ‘spurious’ racism claims

30 September 2017 - 18:07 By Timeslive
Johannesburg mayor Herman Mashaba.
Johannesburg mayor Herman Mashaba.
Image: Simphiwe Nkwali

The South African Communist Party has denounced what it referred to as the “spurious allegation of racial bigotry opportunistically levelled against the party” and its general secretary‚ Blade Nzimande‚ by Johannesburg mayor Herman Mashaba.

The party was commenting on a statement by Mashaba on Thursday in which he said he was disgusted by racist remarks made about his MMC for public safety‚ Michael Sun‚ during Cosatu’s march against state capture on Wednesday‚ in which the SACP and Nzimande also participated.

Sun was asked by Mashaba on Wednesday to receive a memorandum from Cosatu on his behalf and meet representatives of the trade union federation.

Mashaba said that one of the Cosatu leaders had introduced Sun as “'Mr Lee” and referred to him as a 'Fong Kong'.

“To belittle a senior City official is one thing‚ but to racially abuse a passionate and loyal South African on the basis of his looks and descendants’ origins is utterly shameful‚” Mashaba was quoted as saying.

“As a black South African‚ and given our intimate understanding of racial abuse‚ I’m ashamed Michael was treated in this denigrating manner by my fellow people. Your words were an insult to every South African of Chinese descent‚” the Joburg mayor added.

However‚ the SACP hit back on Saturday‚ claiming Mashaba was the “first mayor of Johannesburg who is notorious for making widespread xenophobic utterances causing serious problems in the city”.

“For the record‚ the SACP is the first non-racial political organisation in South Africa. The SACP has a proud history and well-known unmatched record of embracing everybody regardless of their nationality or origin‚ including South Africans of Chinese descent.

“Mashaba must focus on the fact that he – unlike [Gauteng] Premier David Makhura who set time aside out of his busy provincial government schedule to receive the memorandum and address the march against state capture and corruption on Wednesday – chose a cowardly act of running away from the people. The SACP reiterates its condemnation of Mashaba’s xenophobic conduct and denounces his opportunistic‚ baseless allegation and disdain for the people‚” the SACP said in a statement.