Welkom mayor apologises for ‘boesman’ slur in speech to troops

The apology comes after a video of Welkom mayor Nkosinjani Speelman addressing soldiers on Monday on the enforcing of lockdown rules, particularly regarding the community of Bronville.
The apology comes after a video of Welkom mayor Nkosinjani Speelman addressing soldiers on Monday on the enforcing of lockdown rules, particularly regarding the community of Bronville.
Image: Screengrab of video

Welkom mayor Nkosinjani Speelman has apologised for a racially offensive word he used while addressing soldiers on the enforcing of lockdown rules in the mining town.

“I want to apologise with the statement I made yesterday. It was not undermining you, it was just out of mistake. So I want to apologise to everybody in Bronville, particularly the coloured people,” Speelman said in a video apology.

The apology comes after a video of him addressing soldiers on Monday regarding the enforcing of lockdown rules, particularly on the community of Bronville, was published.

His “boesman” comment - a derogatory term used to describe coloured people - was met with outrage.

“In Bronville, you know some of the ‘boesmans’, they take some chances; don’t hesitate. I talked to them yesterday, but when you close them (down), they get out and drink again,” he said.

Speelman added that the soldiers must “skop and donner” if necessary and that he would support them.

Patriotic Alliance (PA) leader Gayton McKenzie said Speelman’s comments lacked respect for coloured people.

“I’m not going to laugh like all those “gatkruipers” [sycophants] listening to you. You calling people drunkards. You are drunk on power.

“I will make sure that you get reported to the Humans Rights Commission. I will fund a lawsuit against you by the people from Bronville. We will write to the ANC to discipline you. You guys have no respect for coloured people. Your nonsense stops today,” McKenzie warned.

The human rights commissioner in the province, Thabang Kheswa, was not immediately reachable for comment.


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