Renaldo GouwsRenaldo Gouws may face imprisonment for racial slurs-Image Source@X

Democratic Alliance (DA) Member of Parliament Renaldo Gouws is facing the possibility of imprisonment following actions taken by the South African Human Rights Commission (SAHRC) in response to his alleged racist comments.

The Controversial Remarks

Gouws’s troubles began soon after his inauguration on June 14, when old videos resurfaced, casting a shadow over his new position. In a 2009 YouTube video, Gouws made inflammatory comments about the ANC government, which led to accusations of racism.

Initially, Gouws issued an apology, attributing his remarks to youth and immaturity. However, he later asserted that false accusations of racism should themselves be punishable. This stance was short-lived as a second video surfaced, containing even more egregious content where Gouws used highly offensive racial slurs and called for violence against black people.

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In response to the backlash, the DA’s Federal Executive suspended Gouws pending disciplinary proceedings.

Legal Action by the SAHRC

Shortly after his suspension, the SAHRC announced its decision to bring Gouws before the Equality Court in Gqeberha. The commission’s statement detailed the nature of the proceedings:

“In the video, Mr. Gouws allegedly calls for the killing of black people using extremely offensive and derogatory language. This explicit content, initially published on his YouTube channel in March 2010, was archived despite being deleted and has resurfaced, revealing behavior that is incompatible with the principles of dignity and equality enshrined in South African law.”

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“Following assessment of the content, the commission has concluded that utterances allegedly made by Mr. Gouws constitute hate speech and/or harassment as contemplated in terms of sections 10 and 11 of the Promotion of Equality and Prevention of Unfair Discrimination Act. Given Gouws’ position as a member of parliament, his alleged actions carry even greater weight and responsibility, as he is expected to uphold and embody the principles enshrined in the constitution, including human dignity, equality and non-discrimination.”

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