A KwaZulu-Natal (KZN) minority rights group will open a case against EFF commander-in-chief Julius Malema for his comments that most Indians are racist, The Mercury has reported.
At the EFF’s youth celebrations in Klerksdorp, North West, Malema took to the podium to tell a large crowd: “[The] majority of Indians hate Africans, [the] majority of Indians are racist, and we must never be scared to say that they are racist.
“I’m not saying all Indians, I’m saying the majority of them,” he added.
This marks the third case against Malema by KZN’s South African Minority Rights Equality Movement (Samrem).
Two cases relating to comments made by Malema at the EFF’s fourth anniversary celebrations in Durban a year ago are also pending, according to the organisation.
“He made very divisive statements [last year] about Indians monopolising the economy, underpaying workers and being worse than Afrikaners,” said Samrem chairperson Daleep Lutchman.
In Klerksdorp, Malema spoke about the hierarchies entrenched by apartheid, saying: “We were not oppressed the same. Our oppression was worse than the oppression of the Indians.”
He also argued Indian people in South Africa should have their BEE scores lowered.
The controversial politician hit out at South Africa’s Indian community for allegedly looking down on Africans, as well as identifying more with white people than black people and supporting the DA.
“When you speak against them, they organise some Indian mob to attack us and expect us to keep quiet until we speak about that reality. They will never change.”
Malema appeared to foresee a backlash for his comments, saying: “If there are Indians who are going to catch feelings about this statement, it is your own baby.”
Lutchman, though, feels Indians should not have their suffering under apartheid diminished, and believes that while Indian people did receive land during apartheid, it was not arable.
“We fished instead, and sold the fish back to the white man. Indians grew their own wealth, and worked hard using their own initiative, not handouts.”
Lutchman said a meeting would decide exactly what charges to lay against the EFF leader for “going back to the apartheid system of classifying people by race”.
Malema used the derogatory slur “c**lies” to refer to Indian people in 2011. Samrem was going to press charges, but Malema apologised.
“We thought he was sincere, but he continued to make bold, sweeping statements about us with no evidence, proof or statistics. We could do the same, but we don’t,” said Lutchman.