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By Faizel Patel

Senior Digital Journalist

DA Knysna councillor in hot water for ‘monkey circus’ remark

The DA councillor made the remark during a special finance and governance committee sitting.

A Democratic Alliance’s (DA) councillor in Knysna, Sharon Sabbagh, has come under fire after allegedly referring to a council meeting as a “monkey circus.”

Sabbagh allegedly made the derogatory remarks last week during a Knysna special finance and governance committee sitting.

In a video, widely shared on TikTok, Sabbagh lashed out at opposition parties after a ruckus broke out among councillors after trying to raise a point of order.


However, after being interjected several times, Sabbagh snapped.

“You wanna teach [Matika] how to manage a meeting…  Continue… We are going to have the yappa yappa monkey circus going on here.”


♬ original sound – noyabapress

Sabbagh was then asked who she was calling a monkey.

“I did not call anybody a monkey; if they feel offended, then it’s because they are one,” she said.

Sabbagh was then asked to withdraw her remark.

“What must I withdraw? I didn’t… oh my God. For the sake of proceeding, I apologise and stop this yappa yapping. It’s ridiculous,” she said.

DA response

DA political head in the Knysna Constituency Dion George told The Citizen Sabbagh was misunderstood.

“The councillor’s comments have been misconstrued and shamefully used to deflect voter’s attention from the destruction the ANC/PA/EFF coalition caused in Knysna as a result of their absolute failure to deliver services to residents, especially to lower income households.”

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Removal of Sabbagh

Meanwhile, the Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF) in the Western Cape has called for the immediate removal of Sabbagh.

The party said Sabbagh’s “racist behaviour” was unacceptable and should never be left unchallenged.

“The racist behaviour of referring and calling black people monkeys is not an isolated case, but both a structural and endemic phenomenon whose roots could be traced back to colonialism and later apartheid where black people were depicted in a negative light and their blackness portrayed as an aberration.

“EFF Western Cape calls on the South African Human Rights Commission (SAHRC) to investigate Sabbagh with immediate effect. We will also lay a charge with the South African Police Service (SAPS) for Sabbagh to be arrested,” the red berets said.

The EFF said Sabbagh’s conduct has “provoked many black people causing crimen injuria in a deliberate attempt to undermine their dignity”.

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