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Pressure mounts on SAHRC to sack CEO

28 Feb 2023

NATION PRESSURE MOUNTS ON SAHRC TO SACK CEO Chantal Kisoon accused of calling staff 'black babies' NICOLA DANIELS This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. THE SA Human Rights Commission SAHRC was locked in meetings last night amid calls for the sacking of acting chief executive officer, Chantal Kisoon, for referring to staff as "black babies" during a strategic planning session last week.
The incident was captured on camera and has since gone viral on social media. In the clip, a person identified as her, is heard saying: "They are going to look at the truthful number of 300 KPIs and assess and they'll call each of you out as black babies and then to do the same thing we can't expect to be spoon fed, we can't. It's different if somebody is new, they're reaching out, we guide, we induct..." The staff reportedly forced her out of the meeting and reported her to the chairperson, who is still to take action. SAHRC spokesperson Wisani Baloyi was only able to confirm to the Cape Times that commissioners were still in a meeting discussing the matter. The SAHRC was yet to respond to whether there would be an investigation into the matter or whether any action would be taken against Kisoon. The EFF described Kisoon's remarks as racist and called for her immediate resignation and an inquiry through parliament, "on the leadership composition of the commission and how they set criteria for priority cases brought before them". The SAHRC is the national institution established to support constitutional democracy, by promoting the protection of human rights. "There is a need for a complete reform of the South African Human Rights Commission, and this begins with the removal of the acting CEO with immediate effect. The EFF commends the staff for exposing this vile racist and encourages more employees to expose the shenanigans happening at the commission.

"The acts of Kisoon are not only racist, but confirm to us that the South African Human Rights Commission thrives through infantilising black people, undermining their intelligence and treating them as inferior and incapable. It is telling that this is the attitude of such a highranking official of an institution that has recently been weaponized by the farright in South Africa, to pursue the EFF for making historical assessments on the conditions confronting black people in this country. "Kisoon's comment therefore reveals the perception of black people which is held at high levels within the Human Rights Commission, which is that black people lack the mental fortitude to comprehend basic instructions because we possess the mental capacity of babies. "Kisoon is a confirmation of why all of these clearcut instances of violence emanating from racism have never been justly concluded by the South African Human Rights Commission, yet speculative logic by a rightwing organisation which was dismissed by the Equality Court, is entertained," the party said.

Parliamentary spokesperson Moloto Mothapo could not confirm by deadline whether they would consider an inquiry as yet. Human rights activist and policy analyst Nkosikhulule Nyembezi, said racism scandals, which kept flaring up, showed there was a "larger undiagnosed issue underneath". "Whenever one of these racism scandals hits, it seems to me that the biggest fight of all is to challenge the complacencies and complicities of progress we have made so far as a country to change the discriminatory attitudes, utterances, and practices of some people in our society. To page 2 RACISM Flareups 'indication of larger issues' from page 1 "The societal demand for those of us who are progressives is to impose our standards and values on the racially prejudiced individuals instead of merely reacting to their actions," Nyembezi said. "We must accept that the occasional flareup is not just something to be extinguished, but rather an indication that there is a larger undiagnosed issue underneath. The demand on the government and the citizens is not to expect racism to vanquish overnight, but to collectively commit to the process of constantly finessing the progressive realisation of a nonracial society. Better as a nation to be a work in progress than a prematurely ended project to build and nurture our rainbow nation."

Source: Cape Times

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The Human Rights Commission is the national institution established to support constitutional democracy. It is committed to promote respect for, observance of and protection of human rights for everyone without fear or favour.

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