Dianne Kohler Barnard: Racism forms core DNA of the DA - Office of ANC Chief Whip

DA MP must be fired from parliament for sharing of a Facebook post calling for return of PW Botha


1 October 2015

The Office of the ANC Chief Whip in Parliament is outraged, but not surprised, by yet another DA public representative's shameless racism and nostalgic endorsement of the apartheid era rule. DA shadow minister for police, Dianne Kohler-Barnard, distributed to her thousands of Facebook followers a racist post in which one of her 'friends' makes racists rants about the ANC government and expressly calls for the return of apartheid rule (see report). The post partly reads:

"And so the new head of the Hawks - found to be without integrity and dishonest (sic) by the Court - has suspended ace detective Johan Booysen over a typing error. This is bloody circus. Please come back PW Botha - you were far more honest than any of these ANC rogues, and you provided far better services to the public - we had functioning education system, functioning health system..."

The DA MP's public endorsement for the return of the racist apartheid rule comes hot on the heels of another incident in the Nelson Mandela Bay municipality two months ago in which a DA councillor referred to a UDM councillor as "Councillor bobbejaan (baboon)". Recently, DA MPL Nokonwaba Matikinca handed a resignation letter to the DA in protest against endemic racism within the party. Two years ago the DA was forced to fire its councillor, Stanford Slabbert, for distributing a racist email in which he called Black people "dumb idiots who wait for handouts".

A while ago, DA health MEC in the Western Cape Theunis Botha was forced to withdraw his racist remark in which he likened ANC MPL Zodwa Magwaza to a baboon. Last year ANC chief whip Stone Sizani complained to the SAHRC regarding a racist picture tweeted by DA deputy chief whip Mike Waters, likening ANC Black voters to dogs. It is now public knowledge that Western Cape premier Helen Zille refers to Black people, particularly those coming from other provinces such as the Eastern Cape, as "refugees'.

It is in this vein that Kohler-Barnard's racist conduct, although outrageous and utterly repulsive, does not surprise us as racism and white supremacy form the core DNA of the DA. The DA's senior MP's tacit endorsement of the return of apartheid rule, which dehumanized, oppressed and murdered Black people, hence declared by the United Nations a crime against humanity, once again confirms the endemic mistrust the majority of our people have regarding the DA as a party of apartheid longing for minority rule. This is the reason why a survey conducted two years ago by Pondering Panda concluded that 54 percent of black youth questioned expected the Democratic Alliance to revert to apartheid if it ever won general elections.

It is appalling that a public representative who has sworn to uphold our constitutional democracy and its values would propagate such disturbing racial hatred and public glorification of a criminal system that caused untold suffering to millions of Black people. PW Botha was a ruthless apartheid ruler and staunch Nazi proponent, entrenched apartheid and its policies of torture, kidnappings of anti-apartheid activists, murder and sanctioned bloody attacks on neighboring states.

If the DA is serious about ridding itself of its public reputation as a refuge for racists and white supremacists still longing for the return apartheid rule, it must not only merely distance itself from its senior MP's conduct but expel her from the party and Parliament. A person who holds such backward, dangerous and racially divisive views cannot continue to serve in this democratic Parliament. Failure to fire her would continue to give rife to the observation that the DA is an apartheid party that uses Black people to window dress its deepseated racism and white supremacy.

Statement issued by the Office of the ANC Chief Whip, 1 October 2015