Daniel Friedman
2 minute read
20 Jun 2018
3:34 pm

DA to discipline George mayor for fighting ‘against what is right’ (as he put it)

Daniel Friedman

'It is time to take a stand against what is right,' the mayor said in a presumable slip of the tongue while opposing a Boston Gay Choir performance in George.

George Mayor Melvin Naik. Image: George Herald

Mayor of George Melvin Naik made headlines when he voiced his anti-gay opinions while expressing disapproval of the Boston Gay Choir doing a concert in the Western Cape town.

In an audio clip from a press conference, Naik can be heard saying that “it is time to take a stand against what is right”.

Presumably, he meant that it’s time to take a stand for what’s right, not against, although people familiar with our constitution would probably point out that, in discriminating against people based on their sexuality, he is fulfilling the actual meaning of his original statement rather than its intended meaning.

The DA says it is in the process of taking action against Naik for his comments.

Newly appointed DA spokesperson Solly Malatsi confirmed that action was currently being taken against the mayor.

“The disciplinary hearing is tomorrow. It’s difficult to anticipate when we will be able to give feedback on the results of the hearing.”

Malatsi continued: “Swift action has been taken. We are a party that is opposed to any form of discrimination or prejudice, including homophobia.”

LISTEN: George mayor voices his disapproval of gay event

This is not the first time Naik has incurred the wrath of his fellow party members. He was recently charged by the DA’s federal legal commission after being accused of garnering support for the ANC to place it “in a position to govern” the municipality.

According to DA member at the Western Cape provincial legislature Bongi Madikizela, “there were allegations that he tried to convince some members to join the ANC – which would result in an automatic cessation of membership”.

Madikizela says the charges were dropped though.

“Various affidavits were received and submitted to the FLC, but some of those affidavids had conflicting accounts. Because of the discrepancies the FLC could not pursue the charges and came to the decision to drop them.”

DA shadow minister for justice and correctional services Glynnis Breytenbach conveyed a slightly different account of the status of the FLC charges against Naik than Malatsi, saying they were in abeyance, or in “a state of temporary disuse or suspension”, rather than dropped altogether.

Both Malatsi and Breytenbach, did, however, confirm that the current disciplinary action only related to Naik’s homophobic comments and not earlier allegations that he had been plotting to put the ANC in power.

Breytenbach was also asked to comment on her personal views regarding the disciplinary inquiry into Naik’s conduct. “It would be very inappropriate for me to comment,” she said.

Whether it’s for homophobic utterances or attempts to enact an ANC takeover of George, the mayor will probably have to face some form of discipline soon.

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