Durban - “I was an idiot.” That was the admission of ANC Chatsworth branch chairman and former councillor Visvin Reddy on Friday after his remark about Indians.
An “unequivocally” apologetic Reddy said he realised his Facebook comment – that Indians who complained about the ANC government should go back to India – was “idiotic”.
“The ANC is a home for everyone, irrespective of race or gender. In hindsight, I realise that my comments were idiotic. I was an idiot,” he said.
Reddy, a former executive council member had earlier this week posted the following message on his Facebook page: “To you anti-ANC commentators… wait until May 8. The ANC will still rule this country. You whiners should leave. Go to India and see what a good life we have here. Continue with your garbage and marginalise yourself further. Don’t blame the ANC, blame yourself. You have not yet embraced democracy. Only a foolish Indian in SA will not engage the majority constructively.”
“I do realise now that it (my comment) has hurt certain Indian people who are all South Africans. To them, I have apologised. It was never my intention to hurt them.”
Reddy, however, added that after making the comments he received phone calls from his “black African” friends saying they echoed his sentiments.
“They said it’s true. Indians have benefited from the country and still whine and moan about the ANC,” he said.
“Life in this country for the Indian community has been relatively good under the ANC government.”
Following Reddy’s comment, the provincial ANC distanced itself from the remark, rebuking Reddy.
ANC provincial secretary, Sihle Zikalala said the ANC needed the support of Indians and it would “never stoop to the level of those who voice their disrespectful sentiments about this community”.
Reddy said he welcomed Zikalala’s rebuke, saying he did not think his utterances would affect his standing in the party.
Meanwhile, ANC councillor and eThekwini Municipality speaker Logie Naidoo also reprimanded Reddy, describing his statement as reckless, politically unacceptable and socially unsound.
“The statement must be condemned in the strongest terms possible. It is absolutely untenable that an ANC office-bearer makes such an utterance,” Naidoo said.