Dear Prof Majola
THE SAHRC IN THE EBEN ETZEBETH MATTER – NO FAIR AND JUST PROCES - Complaint against Mr Buang Jones
Although it must be welcomed that the South African Human Rights Commission is involved in the Eben Etzebeth matter we must express our concern about the way this matter is dealt with in the public domain, especially by your commissioners and officials. No matter what happened in Langebaan on the night of 24 August and the early morning hours of 25 August 2019 in the Eben Etzebeth case, it is essential that the facts should be judged objectively and fairly and that action be taken accordingly.
If any offensive language was used, this should be substantiated with the necessary proof and justice must take its course. However, it is clear that the Human Rights Commission cannot handle this matter fairly and justly, and if anyone might still have doubts that the Human Rights Commission would act with balance and consistency according to its mandate, this case should eliminate any doubts.
Of even more concern is the conduct of Mr , your acting head of legal services. His statements and accusations are inflammatory and is adding fuel to the accusations of racism. His personal conduct and involvement in this matter, as an official, is worthy of an investigation by the SAHRC and we kindly request that you investigate his utterances and incitement when he addressed a meeting in Langebaan, as well as his continued remarks in the media and on Twitter (see attached).
We are of the opinion that he is definitely not so innocently involved in this matter. It is clear that he is using the Etzebeth matter to boost his personal profile which could favourably impress the decision makers when considering his appointment as Deputy Public Protector. His prejudice has been placed on record by his many statements, and any fair process is not possible.
According to Jones's absurd statements (see attached):
- "Etzebeth even gets away with murder." (Times Live 4 October 2019)
- Also see the video clips by Esa Alexander on Twitter with a live feed from the above Times Live website.
- “Ons wil voorbeeld van Etzebeth maak” - We want to make an example of Etzebeth – Netwerk24-2-
You mentioned this morning on RSG on SABC that you are not aware of his utterances. Please look at the attached.
We fail to see any justification or relevant social context to these remarks and the public pronouncements by an official of the South African Human Rights Commission. Of utmost concern is Mr Buang Jones’ continuation of remarks on Twitter to stoke racial fires. “Buang Jones @IamBuangJones - We will be back in the West Coast to fight systemic indoctrination, racial supremacy and injustice (signed with a black power fist – symbol of black nationalism)”. Is Mr Jones speaking on behalf of the Human Rights Commission (we will be back) and do you endorse his other sentiments on twitter and his possible alignment with political parties using the same symbol? Was there a finding by the Human Rights Commission or any court to support his inflammatory remarks of racial supremacy and injustice on the West Coast?
All of the above must be seen against the constitutional requirements for the “Establishment and governing principles” of Chapter 9 institutions. Section 181(2): “These institutions are independent, and subject only to the Constitution and the law, and they must be impartial and must exercise their powers and perform their functions without fear, favour or prejudice.” Mr Jones’ conduct as an official of the South African Human Rights Commission is nowhere near impartial and is prejudiced in the extreme.
With a view to reconciliation and nation -building, we need the South African Human Rights Commission to act on this complaint and to read it together with the perspective in this letter and the attached documents
Jan Bosman, Chief Secretary, Afrikanerbond