The ANC has been asked to support a complaint to the SAHRC against Rajesh “Tony” Gupta, for alleged racist remarks he made to security guards, it emerged on Monday.
Gupta had allegedly called the guards at his Saxonwold compound “monkeys” in 2012, after they apparently did not respond when he called them.
This alleged incident emerged in a complaint from a Sahara employee to G4S Security about one of the guards. The Guptas are the owners of Sahara Computers.
The letter of complaint forms part of hundreds of emails leaked from the Gupta family, and which City Press has obtained.
At the time, Gupta lawyer Gert van der Merwe rejected the accusations contained in the leaked emails. He said the Guptas were advised to lay criminal charges against the media houses reporting on them.
Now, Lawyers for Human Rights (LHR) and the Ahmed Kathrada Foundation are appealing to ANC secretary general Gwede Mantashe to join them in their complaint to the SA Human Rights Commission. Alternatively, the party could choose to be the sole complainant.
“The ANC has taken highly commendable leadership of previous similar cases, and the legal teams employed by the ANC have set the highest standards in this field,” Ahmed Kathrada Foundation executive director Neeshan Balton said in a letter to Mantashe last week.
“As you recall, the ANC was the complainant in the case against Penny Sparrow for use of the same racist terms as those used in this instance by Rajesh Gupta.”
Penny Sparrow case
Sparrow, a former KwaZulu-Natal estate agent, published a Facebook post in which she compared black beachgoers celebrating New Year’s Day to monkeys.
The ANC took her to court.
The Umzinto Equality Court subsequently ordered her to pay R150 000 to the Oliver and Adelaide Tambo Foundation. The Scottburgh Magistrate’s Court then fined her R5 000 after she pleaded guilty to crimen injuria.
She was sentenced to a further two years’ imprisonment, suspended for five years.
Balton told News24 on Monday that the ANC had correctly taken on the Sparrow case, and had scored an important victory.
“We want to approach the SAHRC to at least probe this case and make a finding. The ANC is the most appropriate organisation to lead this.”
Mantashe was asked to respond by Friday. The organisations had since given the party a few more days to get back to them.
LHR spokesperson Carol Mohlala said that if they had not received a response by then, they would go ahead with the complaint on their own.
Mantashe and ANC spokesperson Zizi Kodwa were not immediately available for comment on Monday.