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WATCH | 'You white people, you make me sick' - licensing department official tells client

A licensing department official has come under fire for his alleged racist rant against a client in Bedfordview, west of Ekurhuleni.

The city of Ekurhuleni said in a statement on Tuesday that it was aware of the video, saying the matter is taken seriously and an investigation has been instituted.

Motivational speaker Gavin Sharples, who intervened after witnessing the incident, told TimesLIVE on Tuesday that he went to the licensing department on May 20 to renew his driver's licence.

Sharples said he witnessed an official "berating, insulting and humiliating" a young man who was there for his learner's or driver's licence.

He said the official started shouting at the young man, telling him he was doing him "a favour" by speaking in English.

The official also told the young man that he did not understand English and that he should speak in his mother tongue.

Sharples said the man was heard saying "you white people need to learn your own language".

"He then called him stupid at which time I stood up and asked (the official) to please put some love in his heart and show the young man a little bit of respect. 

"(The official) then turned his racist rant towards me. He told me directly that he had no love in his heart and began to shout at me. At this point a recording was made of his conduct," Sharples said.

He said the official was unfazed by the camera and said "you can do whatever you do".

According to Sharples, his supervisor was sitting at a desk "three steps" behind him.

"It was impossible for him not to hear every word. It is an open-plan office with half or three-quarter walls."

Sharples said when he entered the supervisor's office the official told him in an "angry and aggressive" tone: "you white people sometimes, you make me sick. I am talking to you … you white people. I've had a lot of you … white people, you white people, I don't like".

The official later said in the supervisor's officer that he hated white people, Sharples said.

"I hate these white people."

Sharples said the conduct of the employee was "unacceptable, uncalled for, criminal and unconstitutional".

He said he asked his supervisor to intervene and had demanded that the official should be removed immediately. Sharples was instructed to put everything in writing.

He said his honour and dignity were "severely insulted".

"His comments were in my opinion hate speech based on my race. I require a full and complete investigation into this matter."

He said several complaints had been lodged against the employee in the past.

"It is a shocking state of affairs that an openly aggressive, insulting racist is allowed to work with members of the public in this democracy.

"It is my desire that [the official] be immediately suspended together with his supervisor. I will take all necessary steps to assist in this matter." 

Sharples said he opened a case of crimen injuria at the Bedfordview police station and had lodged a complaint with the SA Human Rights Commission and the Equality Court.

On his social media page, he also shared his advice on how to stay calm and collected while lodging a complaint.