ActionSA Pickets and Hands Over Memorandum of Demand to Speaker of Newcastle Municipality

Today, ActionSA held a picket outside the Newcastle Municipality and handed over a memorandum of demand to the Speaker of the Municipality, demanding that he takes swift action against Democratic Alliance (DA) councillor, Ms Connie Hariram, after going on a racist rant circulated on a voice note last year.

In a voice note shared to a WhatsApp group chat, Ms Hariram can be heard questioning why a black South African woman was voted for to form part of the community’s Ward Committee, in a meeting where attendance was predominantly Indian South African individuals.

We found Ms Hariram’s actions to be very loathsome, and with the silence and lack of action from the DA, therefore taking it upon ourselves to seek justice on behalf of the victim, Ms Thandeka Reed, by publicly demonstrating that racism will not be tolerated, nor will we turn a blind eye to such plagues in society.

ActionSA handed over a memorandum to the Office of the Speaker, demanding that:

  1. Ms Hariram be suspended with immediate effect, and full disciplinary action be taken against her.
  2. The Municipality acts appropriately against this act of racism by issuing a statement condemning acts of racism, not only by its public representatives, but for all individuals.
  3. An apology to Ms Thandeka Reed for publicly dragging her feet in dealing with this matter after her rights were obviously and admittedly violated.
  4. The Municipality brings forth clear and concise plans on how they intend to deal with such matters going forward.

We are pleased that the Speaker and the Mayor of Newcastle both came out to acknowledge our presence outside the Municipality and vowed to adhere to our demands.

We hope the Speaker will see the severity of the situation and take affirming steps that will lead to the justice for Ms Reed and find better ways of dealing with such issues in the future should they arise.