The Democratic Alliance (DA) will lay a complaint against the ANC and the EFF with the South African Human Rights Commission (SAHRC) for race baiting.
This follows a now debunked video that made the rounds on social media suggesting that the eNCA reporter Lindsay Dentlinger racially discriminated against Members of Parliament when asking them to put on their masks.
The ANC launched an anti-racism campaign as well as a protest led by ANC deputy secretary-general, Jessie Duarte, effectively calling Dentlinger a racist without reviewing the evidence. The party further fueled tensions by claiming the channel had a “history of mistreating black people”.
The EFF likewise called for a total boycott of the news channel, labelling them as a propaganda arm of “white monopoly capital” – a narrative the EFF constantly perpetuates when it suits them to score political points.
It has now emerged that parts of the video came from much older interviews – some of which were conducted before the pandemic or before wearing masks were mandated. This explains fully why some MPs were not wearing masks during some interviews, while others were asked to do so. Earlier clips were used selectively in the montage to purport that white MPs were not asked to wear masks while black MPs were.
The ANC and EFF however pounced on this opportunity and used the video as a ploy to further exploit racial tensions among South Africans, effectively race baiting in order to rile up particular audiences. This is very dangerous especially when these assumptions are made without any verified evidence.
Both the ANC and EFF have intentionally fed into this narrative to stir up tensions and play a very dangerous game – a game they have been playing for years without shame.
The DA unequivocally believes that racism and discrimination should be condemned without fear or favour. However, the race baiting by the ANC and EFF has no place within South Africa’s democratic society.
Political parties – especially – have a duty and responsibility to work towards racial cohesion. We need to work towards healing the racial divides still present in society and not add to it, like the ANC and EFF have been doing here.