ILL-CONSIDERED words on social media five years ago have come back to haunt a KwaZulu-Natal Democratic Alliance leader after a South African Human Rights Commission (SAHRC) ruling.
On the eve of its provincial elective congress at the weekend‚ the DA instructed deputy provincial chair nominee and Women’s Network provincial leader Shehana Kajee to apologise for an online post in which she called for the Muslim community to “go on the attack” in the name of Islam in 2013.
The instruction comes after the SAHRC – acting on behalf of an irate Bluff resident – last week hauled Kajee‚ and the party’s provincial office‚ to the Equality Court for hate speech against the white community.
In October 2013‚ Kajee posted: “Bibz‚ any our Muslim brothers that will help me to take on a very verkrampe community regarding qurbani please? We have this problem every year and the health department is gatvol of these people harassing our Muslim brother. Anyone willing to go on the attack? In the name of Islam?”
Bluff resident Charles Fraser said he approached the commission in 2016 after the DA ignored his complaints on Kajee’s post
In court papers filed last week‚ Bluff resident Charles Fraser said he approached the commission in 2016 after the DA ignored his complaints on Kajee’s post.
Fraser said the post was “extremely offensive‚ hurtful‚ demeaning and discriminatory towards members of the white community”.
He is asking the court to order Kajee – who was ultimately elected as one of three deputy provincial chairs – and the DA to tender a written apology‚ to donate R15 000 to Chihuahua Adoptions SA and to complete 150 hours of community service at a local animal rescue shelter.
“I wrote to the DA that with the Islamic State (ISIS) threatening the world‚ it was a real concern of mine that Kajee‚ who is of similar faith‚ with an ex-husband who is in charge of the mosque in Bluff‚ was advocating for the white community to be attacked and killed‚” he told TimesLIVE.
With the Islamic State (ISIS) threatening the world‚ it was a real concern of mine
Fraser said he got involved because he was “just a concerned resident who uses social media to expose the shit on the Bluff”.
“This could have been solved years ago but Kajee and the DA did not want to hear anything about it. Instead I was called a fool‚” Fraser said.
Kajee told TimesLIVE that she declined to meet the commission because she did not want to engage with Fraser.
“In 2016 he stood in a line at a voting station‚ telling people I am a member of ISIS. His friends at a public meeting said I was from ISIS.
“I refused to be in his presence at any meeting because he is abusive. I didn’t want to put myself into that situation. I told the commission that I am prepared to do whatever you want me to do but I come from an abusive childhood and I don’t want to put myself in an abusive situation‚” she said.
Kajee said her Facebook post was in response to discriminatory comments in a group‚ Gatvol Bluff‚ where residents criticised the Muslim community for slaughtering animals in the neighbourhood during Eid.
“I was highly emotional. My religion was being attacked. All I did was ask for support from Muslim people to comment to perhaps stop attacking us the way they were.
DA provincial leader Zwakele Mncwango said Kajee’s intention‚ according to her‚ was to call for an online attack and not a physical one
“I can understand that the word attack came across badly and I am sorry for that. The fact of the matter is I did not call on people to physically go and hurt anybody.”
DA provincial leader Zwakele Mncwango said although Kajee’s intention‚ according to her‚ was to call for an online attack and not a physical one‚ the party found her comments “unacceptable for a leader of the DA”.
“Accordingly‚ we have instructed her to offer an unreserved apology for her irresponsible comments‚” he said.
Kajee has until Friday to file her responding court papers.