EFF demands Renaldo Gouws’ removal as MP over racist videos

The Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF) have strongly condemned Democratic Alliance (DA) Member of Parliament (MP) Renaldo Gouws for a series of racist and homophobic videos.

The EFF has demanded Gouws’ removal from his parliamentary position and pledged to submit a formal complaint to the Speaker of the National Assembly regarding his conduct.

Gouws’ controversial statements

Renaldo Gouws has built a controversial reputation over the past few years by stoking racial hatred and spreading misinformation about farm murders. In the recently resurfaced videos, Gouws mocks HIV-positive individuals, makes offensive comments about the LGBTQI community, and belittles affirmative action and black economic empowerment initiatives.

He also derogatorily remarks that no one would notice if the African continent were wiped off the face of the earth.

The EFF’s statement highlights Gouws’ recent attacks on Mama Joy, a well-known sports supporter, calling her a prostitute. His videos frequently portray Africans as inferior, and he equates efforts to redress colonial and apartheid legacies to reverse racism.

The EFF notes, “In almost all of his [Gouws’] fiery and offensive videos and comments, Africans are almost exclusively at the receiving end of his vitriol.”

Political sanctuary in DA

According to the EFF, Gouws’ racist views are emblematic of the broader attitudes within the DA. “Just as racist Gouws has found a political sanctuary in the DA,” the EFF stated.

The EFF criticises the DA for defending the gains of colonialism and apartheid and argues that Gouws’ removal alone will not address the root of the problem.

The EFF further contends that the African National Congress (ANC) under Cyril Ramaphosa has allowed racism to flourish. They cite various incidents of racial violence and discrimination, including a recent video of white boys forcing an African man into a coffin and shooting African children. The EFF calls for the removal of both the DA and the ANC from political power, claiming that the ANC gives racists a veil of legitimacy.

Gouws’ response and public backlash

Amidst the controversy, Gouws took to social media to address the backlash. On his official X account, he seemingly apologised for his past actions, stating, “A snippet of a video that I posted 16 years ago when I was young and still a student has been recycled and posted on social media over the last few days.” He noted that he had addressed this video in 2016 and again in 2020 when it resurfaced. Gouws claimed to have posted a lengthy apology on Facebook years after filming the videos, acknowledging his previous behaviour as “angry, hostile, confrontational, and crass.”

Despite his apology, public outrage continues to grow. A petition to remove Gouws as an MP is rapidly gaining support, reflecting widespread condemnation of his remarks.

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