Irrespective of the popular declaration of the DA leader Mmusi Maimane that racism will no longer be tolerated in the party, and the warning that racists shouldn’t vote for the DA, the Western cape ANC is calling on the DA to scrutinize the past of all of its white members arguing that the DA members’ shady past cannot be ignored if the DA really wants to take a stand against racism.
The provincial ANC spokesperson, Yonela Diko was commenting on reports about the City of Cape Town Councillor, Sam Pienaar who was served a notice of plans to suspend him because of his failure to declare his participation in the shooting of anti-apartheid agitators in 1985.
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Diko in his statement, stated that;
The DA is consciously and intentionally choosing to evade scrutiny of its white members because they fear what they may find out…they go to the greatest of lengths, targeting ANC leaders with all manner of investigations and scrutiny, but today they are telling us their investigating arm was too short to unearth knowledge that is on record about Pienaar… Let that happen immediately, because with each day that passes, another DA person is caught on the wrong and evil side of history.
It has been alleged that the 73-year-old Councillor was a commander in the SA Defence Force, and was present when the October 1985 Trojan Horse shooting was planned. As gathered, the railway police hid themselves in crates on the back of an SA Railways truck on the 15th day of October 198. The truck drove down Thornton Road, Athlone where officers reportedly emerged from the crates and shot at the protesters. Same incident was allegedly replicated at Crossroads the next day.
While the DA provincial spokesperson, Liza Albrecht related that Pienaar had not declared his involvement with the unit during his interview process, Diko argued that it is difficult to believe that the DA isn’t aware of Pienaar’s past.
Reporting this however, News24 revealed that Pienaar in his 1997 testimony to the Truth and Reconciliation Commission stated that his public involvement with the Trojan Horse incident had caused embarrassment, pain and disruption to him and his family. But nonetheless, added that he only learned afterwards that children had been killed, and as such, distanced himself from the police actions.
He was quoted to have said;
It cast a shadow over my proud military career and also my civilian career as an educator…On a daily basis I was subjected, along with my troops, to unsavory civilian disobedience and violence…At this meeting somebody, and I can’t remember who it was, indicated that a vehicle which should appear to be a civilian vehicle and which would conceal police members would be sent into the area in an attempt to identify and arrest the ringleaders…Nobody gave any indication during this meeting that any unlawful action or attack was envisaged, and I still believe that nobody had that in mind. I, in fact, agreed with the plan and it was an acceptable conduct for me.