Garden Route municipality PR councillor Iona Kritzinger
Garden Route DA councillor Iona Kritzinger is accused of allegedly using racial slurs while talking to high-ranking George law enforcement officer, Siyasanga Vandala.Kritzinger has denied the allegations.The George municipality and the SA Human Rights Commission are investigating the matter.The George municipality is investigating allegations that DA councillor Iona Kritzinger used a racial slur during a telephonic conversation with a senior law enforcement officer.
Kritzinger is accused of using the k-word during a telephonic conversation with George chief law enforcement officer, Siyasanga Vandala, who is assisting the municipality in terms of a cooperative agreement between the George and Bitou local governments.
In response to the allegations, Kritzinger said she contacted Vandala on Thursday about an issue and that the sound quality was bad during their conversation. She denied that she used any racial slurs.
This is devoid of any and all validity of fact. It is a flagrant lie. It is an egregious fabrication. I did not curse Vandala; I did not insult Vandala; I did not demean Vandala. I reported an incident demanding his immediate professional attention and … I do have an apology to make – I am the grandmother in a mixed-race family, and I apologise to my beloved grandchildren and my dearest daughter-in-law that they would possibly have to be exposed to some unthinkable allegation that their ouma (grandmother) had slurred them.
According to an anonymous tip-off, Vandala laid criminal charges and the matter was reported to acting municipal manager Michele Gratz, the mayor and the speaker. It’s understood that a council committee will be constituted on an urgent basis to deal with the complaint from Vandala.
Vandala confirmed the allegations a said an investigation was under way, but he did not want to comment any further.
Gratz confirmed that she launched an investigation into the incident.
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“I am aware of the allegation levelled against the [councillor] in question as well as the affidavit and supporting affidavit provided in support of the allegation. The supporting affidavit, however, does not confirm the allegation and the [councillor] in question also vehemently denies the allegation. The matter is viewed in a very serious light,” Pretorius said.
George municipality’s chief law enforcement officer, Siyasanga Vandala.
Acting Municipal Manager, Dr Michele Gratz confirmed that on Friday afternoon, the Speaker of Council, Cllr Gerrit Pretorius, instructed her to arrange an investigation into the matter.
Police spokesperson Captain Malcolm Pojie confirmed that a criminal case had been opened. The incident took place on Thursday afternoon he said.
“George SAPS detectives [are probing] a case of crimen injuria [relating to] allegations that a certain councillor used a derogatory racist word on or against the complainant. No arrest has been made. The docket will be submitted for a decision to the NPA (National Prosecuting Authority) once the investigation is concluded.”
It’s understood that the South African Human Rights Commission is also investigating the complaint. Provincial spokesperson Chris Nissen met Vandala on Monday.
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