EFF party leader Julius Malema. File Photo.

Durban - The South African Hindu Dharma Sabha has lodged a complaint with the SA Human Rights Commission over EFF leader Julius Malema’s comments that “the majority of Indians are racist”.

Ram Maharaj, president SA Hindu Dharma Sabha, in a formal complaint to the commission said Malema’s “racist rhetoric and playing the populist card” will hurt and harm inter-racial harmony in South Africa.

Speaking at an EFF Youth Day commemoration in Klerksdorp in the North West Province at the weekend, Malema said: “(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”.

Maharaj said Malema’s “reckless racist rant” was dangerous.

“His prejudicial, pernicious and poisonous pronouncement is invasive of the human dignity of members of our Indian community. Moreover, his irresponsible and unjustifiable assertions are inconsistent with research conducted by the South African Institute for Race Relations. In its 2017 poll 96% of Indians agreed that different races need each other for progress and that there should be full opportunities for all. The national average was 92%,” he said.

Maharaj said Malema selectively ignored the historical fact of South African Indians sacrifices for a democratic South Africa.

“The phenomenal contribution of Indians in all spheres of human endeavour towards the development of a peaceful, progressive and prosperous South Africa for all cannot be wished away at the altar of political expediency. It is unfortunate that Malema’s malicious and misleading statement comes at a time close to the BRICS Summit in our country when South Africa and India will strive cooperatively to deepen the enduring bond already forged and flourishing,” he said.

Maharaj said that in the context of growing anti-Indian slanders in recent times, it was imperative that Malema was “reigned in before he further fans the flames of inter-racial hatred and conflict”.

“It is considered opinion of the South African Hindu Dharma Sabha that Malema’s hate comments constitute a flagrant violation of the spirit and letter of our Constitution of the Republic of South Africa Act Number 108 of 1996,” Maharaj said.

Meanwhile, Luyolo Mphithi - DA Youth Federal Leader  for the DA said the SAHRC had informed them would be looking into complaints by the DA against the EFF leaderships racist remarks.

Mphiti said the DA complained to the SAHRC about Malema’s Indian remarks and comments he made about Port Elizabeth Mayor, Athol Trollip when he told a crowd in PE that they were “going for your white man in PE. We are going to cut the throat”.

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