Malema was quoted as having accused Indians of racism, exploitation of African workers and monopolising the KwaZulu-Natal economy.
“Let them bring it on; we are ready for them. We will reach the Constitutional Court if needs be,” EFF secretary general Godrich Gardee said.
The Minority Front (MF) has asked the SA Human Rights Commission (SAHRC) to investigate and act against Malema’s remarks, while the South African Minority Rights Equality Movement (Samrem) has laid a charge of crimen injuria against him.
Gardee said the Indian business community should not expect preferential treatment from the party.
“Whatever we tell the Afrikaners of Stellenbosch about the abuse of farm workers we shall tell it to the Indian business community. They shall not be different from those that we tell the truth,” he said.
In a letter to the SAHRC, MF Youth Association chairperson Jonathan Annipen said Malema’s remarks amounted to hate speech.
Annipen listed quotes from the EFF leader’s address at the party’s fourth anniversary which he said were racially divisive, including that:
* “Indian people are ill-treating Africans.”
* “Indian people are treating Africans worse that the Afrikaners.”
* “Indian people don’t pay black people.”
* “Indian people treat black people like sub-humans.”
“He has raged an onslaught against the Indian diaspora in KZN and towards Indian businessmen in particular,” said Annipen.
He accused Malema of attempting to frustrate nation-building and labelled him a sensationalist who thrived on manipulating the emotions of the disadvantaged.
But Gardee said the party would not be deterred by labels against its leader: “When we said Zuma must pay back the Nkandla money we were told we are populists and sensationalists, we won’t keep quiet.”
He said “telling the truth” was not disturbing social cohesion and reconciliation, it was strengthening it.
AfriForum has thrown its weight behind the MF and Samrem.
“Indians are a minority group and are also being targeted as a community by the EFF. The EFF is driving a populistic agenda in which racism against minorities is being incited in an attempt to mobilise support,” said its deputy CEO, Ernst Roets.