The Kathrada Foundation has approached Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF) leader Julius Malema to engage with them about his most recent anti-Indian comments where he claimed that the majority of Indians are racist.
He was addressing his party’s Youth Day commemorations in North West at the weekend. Malema further claimed that “not all South Africans of colour suffered the same during apartheid.
The Foundation’s Nishan Bolton says, “That kind of generalisation doesn’t help to find solutions to a problem that they are identifying. I think to say that all Indians treat Africans as sub-humans again without substantiating is a problem. My big problem with that statement, if you are aware of people being treated as sub-humans, what have you done? Who have you reported it to? How many cases have you opened? Leaders today are required not only to identify a problem in society. But to also indicate what they intend doing about it and what they think society should be doing about it.”
Head of media at the Institute for Race Relations, Michael Morris says Malema should know better than to use a public platform to express these views that can sow divisions and resentment, whether it was his intention or not.
“Our polling indicates that race relations are generally sound but there’s no room for complacency. In the most recent poll, 61% altogether now are that SA is a country for black Africans and whites take 2nd place. That 60% is an increase in the poll from 2016. And it does suggest that politicised racial rhetoric does have an impact. Now in the case of Natal there is always the risk this could lead to violence. It does amount to some kind of incitement,” says Morris.
However, the EFF’s National Communications Manager Sixo Gcilishe says the party stands by its leader’s latest utterances and does not wish to apologise or withdraw any part of it.
Watch related video below