VETERANS OF THE FREEDOM STRUGGLE CALL ON PRESIDENT CYRIL RAMAPHOSA AND THE RULING ANC GOVERNMENT TO SPEAK OUT AGAINST THE RACIAL RHETORIC BY JULIUS MALEMA AND HIS ILK
BY SUBRY GOVENDER
(Judge Thumba Pillay (right) and Swaminathan Gounden)
Two veterans of the struggle against apartheid and minority rule have called on President Cyril Ramaphosa and the ANC Government to come out and clearly condemn those making racially-inciting statements.
Retired judge, Thuma Pillay, and Swaminathan Gounden spoke to this correspondent soon after EFF leader, Julius Malema, repeated his statement that “majority of Indians” are racist when addressing his supporters in Newcastle on Monday (June 25 2018).
Malema repeated his racial rhetoric after he made an appearance at the Newcastle Magistrate’s Court on charges of inciting people to invade land. He has been charged under the Riotous Assemblies Act of 1956 after he encouraged people to occupy land during a meeting in Newcastle in 2016.
(President Cyril Ramaphosa)Judge Pillay(82), who has been associated with the Natal Indian Congress, United Democratic Front, and other progressive organisations for most of his life, said President Ramaphosa and the ANC must not remain silent when Malema and people of his ilk “sow seeds of division and hatred”.
“The ANC has been very silent on this serious issue and we want to urge President Ramaphosa that he must take the lead in re-assuring South Africans that racial hatred will not be tolerated in our new non-racial and democratic South Africa,” said Judge Pillay.
“The President must come out and tell Malema in no uncertain terms that he does not know the history of the people of Indian-origin.
“He must tell Malema that he knows the history of the people of Indian-origin because he has worked with many of the struggle leaders for the freedom we enjoy today. He must not allow this freedom to be destroyed by people like Malema.
“If President Ramaphosa and the ANC cannot speak out against Malema and his elements, then which organisation that the minority people of Indian-origin can turn to?
“The people of Indian-origin are looking forward to President Ramaphosa and the ANC to re-assure them. But at the moment this is not happening. Who do the people turn to?”He added: “We are very worried about what is going on. They are talking about the Indian question. You know when the Indian question first came about? It was in 1946 when M D Naidoo and others went to the United Nations to take up the cause of the people of Indian-origin because of the oppression they had been subjected to by successive colonial and minority governments.
“After all these years they are still talking about Indian question. This is worrying and disturbing. “We don’t have leaders of the calibre of Dr Monty Naicker and Dr Yusuf Dadoo any longer.”
Mr Swaminathan, 90, who has been involved in the social, trade union and political struggles against minority rule for more than seven decades, said he was concerned about the “racially disturbing” statements being made by Malema and other people.
“The ANC must come out to bring Malema to order because people are concerned about what Malema is doing,” said Mr Gounden, who only recently was presented with an award in Pretoria by the Government for his contributions to the struggle.
“Malema’s statements are promoting uncertainity and violence against the people. He is inciting the people against another group of people.”
Mr Gounden also said most people were pining for leaders of the calibre of Drs Monty Naicker and Yusuf Dadoo.
“At least if we had leaders of that calibre today then the people will feel re-assured that someone will be talking against incidences of racial incitement and divisions.
“We all fought for this freedom and Malema and company must be told in no uncertain terms that they cannot sow seeds of division and hatred against citizens of this country.”
Both Pillay and Gounden said they appreciated the actions of the Anglican Bishop of Johannesburg, Rt Rev Steve Moreo; IFP leader Dr Manosuthu Buthelezi; and others for speaking out against Malema when he first made the racially-disturbing statements against people of Indian-origin when addressing supporters two weeks ago in Klerksdorp in the North-West Province.
Ends – email@example.com (June 25 2018)