Posted on March 4, 2005

HRC to Investigate Complaint Of Racism Against Dan Roodt

Karen Breytenbach, Cape Times (Cape Town), March 4, 2005

Controversial Afrikaner activist and author Dan Roodt has been reported to the Human Rights Commission (HRC) for “intellectual racism that encourages racial tension”, by Stellenbosch computer programmer Johan Pienaar.

“I think it’s important that a fellow Afrikaner lodges the complaint, to prove that Roodt does not represent the Afrikaner mindset.

“It’s time the courts judge Roodt,” said Pienaar.

According to HRC spokesperson, Nazma Dreyer, the complaint has been assessed and a legal officer will be assigned to review a complaint of “violation of human dignity”.

“In articles published on his website, Dan Roodt has continually been making statements to the effect that members of the black race are more prone to violence (than members of other races).

“Opinions have also been published on his website to the effect that black people are less civilised and intelligent than white people.”

The alleged defamatory statements are contained in some 44 essays and 147 articles published on Roodt’s website, along with opinions of others in the same vein, said Dreyer.

Refuting the complaint lodged against him, Roodt said he believes that “a small minority of fanatics, who support censorship and believe the state to be on their side, are attempting to intimidate the Woordfees (Word Festival), the University of Stellenbosch and the Afrikaans literary community”.

Roodt said yesterday: “White Afrikaans supporters of the ANC are attempting to prove their loyalty and ideological purity to the ruling party by witch-hunting writers, which is typical of any revolution.”

According to Roodt, the last weapons of the disempowered Afrikaner, his freedom of speech, has finally come under attack.

In a statement to the media, Roodt likened himself to the main character in JM Coetzee’s award-winning book Disgrace.

“This novel refers to blacks who commit violent crimes and a white man who becomes the victim of political correctness at the University of Cape Town.

“According to the ANC, Disgrace was ‘hate speech’ and ‘racism’.

Yet soon afterwards Coetzee won the Nobel Prize for literature, which indicates how ridiculous the ANC’s allegations were,” Roodt said.

“As someone who fought hard for freedom of speech during the previous regime, and was convicted in court for the ‘production of undesirable publications’, I recognise signs of the same intolerance towards my thoughts and ideas, although it has become more sinister, more fundamentalist, and akin to vague concepts such as ‘intellectual’ or ‘subliminal’ racism.”

A date has not yet been set for the investigation.

[Editor’s Note: You can read Dan Roodt’s essay, “Adapt and Die — South Africa’s New Motto” by clicking here.]