OFFICE OF THE CHIEF WHIP
EFF Parliamentary Caucus
Ms Thandi Modise
SPEAKER OF THE NATIONAL ASSEMBLY
REQUEST TO INSTITUTE AN URGENT INQUIRY INTO ENCA PRACTICING RACISM IN THE PARLIAMENT PRECINCT
We write to the Speaker to request urgent action to be taken against the eNCA and its journalist Lindsay Dentlinger for practicing anti-black racism against Members of Parliament on National TV, within the parliament precinct. In terms of the Powers, Privileges and Immunities of Parliaments and Provincial Legislatures Act, the Speaker has control and authority over the parliament precinct. This places a duty on the Speaker for the security and protection of MPs and any persons within the precinct.
The ENCA racism event followed the sitting of the National Assembly on 24 February to hear the Budget Speech by the Minister of Finance. After the sitting, eNCA, live on Television, through its journalists Lindsay Dentlinger, racially discriminated against black MPs, demanding them to wear masks, whilst it allowed white MPs to speak on their platform without wearing masks.
In accordance with our Constitution, Section 9.4; "No person may unfairly discriminate directly or indirectly against anyone on one or more grounds... including race, gender, sex, pregnancy, marital status, ethnic or social origin, colour, sexual orientation, age, disability, religion, conscience, belief, culture, language and birth." The actions of eNCA and Lindsay Dentlinger are a direct assault on the right to equity as delineated above. By insisting on black people to wear masks whilst interviewing them, yet allowing white people not to wear masks is discrimination on the bases of race I.e. racism.
There must be consequences for eNCA and Lindsay Dentlinger for practicing racism within the parliament precinct, in full view of everyone on TV and social media platforms. Accordingly, we request the Speaker to institute an urgent investigation or inquiry on this matter, with the view to remove, fine or ban eNCA and fine or ban Lindsay Dentlinger from the parliament precinct.
In essence, the eNCA abused MPs on our precinct and has refused to acknowledge this harm, despite calls by the general public to do so. In the name of the constitution, parliament and the people of South Africa the Speaker must not allow racism to occur with impunity.
N F Shivambu, MP
EFF Deputy President and Parliamentary Chief Whip
Date: 26 February 2021