The Popular Democratic Movement (PDM) yesterday expelled with immediate effect its candidate for the John Pandeni constituency following racist remarks made on social
The PDM took the urgent steps against Hafeni Mafita whom the party accused of showing no remorse following his controversial comments on Facebook. Mafita’s expulsion came after he posted ‘I hate all whites… futsek the whites’ while responding to a post about suspended Bank Windhoek employee Riaan van Rooyen, who is accused of equating black students to monkeys last week, also on a social media post.
“The party’s top six has resolved to expel Mr Hafeni Mafita as a member of the party with immediate effect. Mr Mafita has also been withdrawn as the party candidate for the John Pandeni constituency,” party secretary general Manuel Ngaringombe told journalists. However, Mafita yesterday claimed he had tendered his resignation way before his expulsion was announced. “They are just ashamed.
I tendered my resignation yesterday. I will not be bullied by the whites. I am a child of a freedom fighter. I am going back to rejoin Swapo, the party my parents fought for,” Mafita said when contacted for comment. Meanwhile, Ngaringombe said the party has communicated to the Electoral Commission of Namibia (ECN) of the decision and awaits guidance from the commission on whether they can field another candidate. “We want to put it unequivocally on record that we do not condone any behaviour that seeks to victimise any Namibian based on race, ethnic origin, sex, religious affiliation, economic status or sexual orientation,” said the party secretary general. He explained after Mafita made his first racial utterances on social media, the top six called him in and strongly reprimanded him for such behaviour. “The top six further instructed Mr Mafita to issue a public apology within the next 12 hours, and to desist immediately from displaying such behaviour,” he said. However, he said, it become clear Mafita was not willing to render a public apology and has since gone on to continue with his racial public outbursts through his Facebook account. “The party leadership has therefore been left with no choice but to expel Mr Mafita in line with Schedule A (c) (6) of the PDM constitution which states that a member shall be charged with a serious offence if he or she persistently sows racism, sexism, regionalism, tribalism or nepotism in the organisation,” he said. “The PDM is a party that believes in the fundamental notion of non-racialism and non-discrimination that is protected by Chapter 3 (Article 10) of the Namibian constitution under the Bill of Rights.” Ngaringombe said these fundamental values are further enshrined as the founding yardstick for non-racialism in Chapter 3 of the party constitution. Hence, he said, the party cannot condone Mafita’s remarks because it contravenes the values that the PDM and the Namibian constitution stand for. Ngaringombe added the PDM will never be a party that condones racial injustice through any shape or form. “All Namibians should be rest assured that the PDM shall be a party that continues to exhibit the highest forms of non-racialism, non-discrimination and inclusivity as outlined in the PDM constitution and the Namibian constitution,” he said.