According to a report by the Mail and Guardian, the Democratic Alliance has disciplined one of its senior members over racially charged electronic communication. Stanford Slabbert is a DA councilor in the Eastern Cape. He was suspended for sending an offensive email to multiple recipients.
Slabbert did not have kind words to say about President Jacob Zuma. In the email, Slabbert is alleged to have made an unsavory remark about the president’s intellectual capacity. Slabbert said that the polygamist president has more spouses than brain cells. At present, President Zuma has four wives.
In its attack, the email goes back and forth from President Zuma to the ANC. Slabbert blamed the ANC for a generation of “dumb idiots who wait for handouts”. It is not yet clear if Slabbert’s rampage was fuelled by a specific incident involving the ruling party or if it is part of the on-going political rivalry between the Democratic Alliance and the African National Congress.
Slabbert also touched on the HIV issue albeit, not constructively so. In the email, he reverts back to President Zuma saying that he is the leader of a nation where a quarter of the girls who attend school are infected with HIV. Slabbert elaborates that South Africans “spread the disease more than anyone else in the world”.
Athol Trollip, Democratic Alliance provincial leader, spoke on behalf of the opposition party and confirmed that Slabbert has been suspended because of the offensive communication. The DA condemns such behavior and feels that the councilor contravened the policies of the party by making the negative racial remarks.
The DA is currently conducting the ‘Know Your DA’ campaign which aims to educate the public about the party’s previously underplayed role in the struggle against apartheid. Slabbert’s email is not in line with this controversial campaign.