Thursday, March 27, 2014
(NEWZIMBABWE) Cross a ‘serious’ racist, MDC-T official
by Staff Reporter
BULAWAYO South legislator Edward Graham Cross is a “serious racist” who is only accommodated by the MDC-T because he is one of the few white officials helping raise funds for the party, a local court heard Monday.
The allegation was as Cross’ trial on charges of racially insulting party official, Nkululeko Ndlovu opened at the Bulawayo magistrate’s court on Monday.
Cross, 73, pleaded not guilty to two counts of contravening Section 88 (b) and (c) of the Post and Telecommunications Services Act (making a telephone call and sending [an] offensive message) when he appeared before magistrate Gladmore Mushove.
The court heard that on October 17, Cross insulted Ndlovu, the party’s suspended Bulawayo provincial administrator by sending a text message in which he said: “You are a thief and the sooner we fire you the better.”
Cross further sent another message saying blacks would never run the country properly.
“Cross has been very racist and maybe because he is one of the few white fundraisers of the party is the reason why he is being accommodated in such circumstances,” said Ndlovu.
He told the court that Cross’ insults stemmed from $66 470 which he received from the party’s head office in Harare on behalf of the Bulawayo province to give to National Assembly candidates to pay polling agents for the July 31 elections.
The money was in two batches and each polling station was supposed to have three agents.
Cross allegedly demanded payment for four agents per polling station. But Ndlovu refused resulting in Cross accusing him of insubordination and other allegations so that he would be fired.
“Cross, who is a member of the party’s national council, misrepresented himself to me that they had agreed at national level that four agents be paid per polling station,” said Ndlovu.
“I must say he was bullying on the day. I had to submit to his demands and gave him money for four polling agents per polling station.”
After paying all the candidates, Ndlovu added, it was discovered that one was not given that money and it was his duty to check who might have been paid more than required.
He said it was established that other candidates received payment for three agents per station and only Cross had received extra payment.
“I then called him to find out about the issue and that is when he said, ‘I am talking crap’ which means waste from the bowls,” Ndlovu said. “He further said black people would not run this country properly before cutting his phone.”
Ndlovu handed the court his mobile phone bearing Cross’s messages on social network WhatsApp to the court as proof.
“He later sent a message to me saying if he had his way he would fire me and this is happening as I have been suspended after he framed false allegations that I misappropriated party funds,” he said.
“When I asked him what the word ‘crap’ was for, he did not show any remorse and further insulted me.”
Under cross-examination by Cross attorney, Tim Cherry, Ndlovu said in a bid to cover-up his racial slurs and unsanctioned use of extra funds, Cross told the party he had misused $5,000 and sought his dismissal.
Cross further accused him of insubordination, leading to his suspension from the party.