Julius Malema
Letter - Dear Mr Malema,I write this letter to you amid the fallout from your comments that the majority of Indians in South Africa are racist.

I cannot fathom your reasons for saying that, except to say that you saw an opportunity to score cheap political points and win a few voters over to the EFF, and took it without so much as a second thought about the repercussions of your words. 

I have always regarded myself a South African first. When I do go abroad, I’m always eager to return to the land of my and my great-grandparents’ birth.

I love my people: all of them African, white, coloured and whatever else there may be. 

I will concede that there are racists among South African Indians, as in other race groups. 

As South Africans, we have grown up with this fear, hatred and misunderstanding of other race groups. 

It was deliberately inculcated by the apartheid government, separating us South Africans, and at times instigating violence among the races to serve their own ends and preserve the status quo.

And now, Mr Malema, you are using the very same tactic to garner support for your party ahead of next year’s elections. 

Why don’t I hear you commenting about the fact that our people have to wait up to 15 hours to secure a hospital bed at Prince Mshiyeni Hospital? 

I don’t hear you condemning hijackings, cash-in-transit robberies, home invasions, gang violence, the lack of treatment facilities for drug addicts and the fact that over half of African children grow up in families without both parents present.

I don’t hear you commenting on the extremely high teenage pregnancy rate, the lack of development of job opportunities in the townships that force workers to take three taxis to get to work, and three to return home in the evenings, the high drop-out rate in schools and universities, the fact that women and children are not safe in this country.

Why? Because these “boring” issues are not sensational enough to get you on the news and win you new voters. Instead you focus on sowing seeds of division, which can so easily inflame relations in the country.

Already some of your supporters are calling for Indians to return to India, just as they call for whites to return to Europe.

I am of the opinion that we should expose incidents of racism and name and shame individuals and organisations that perpetuate racism. There is absolutely no place for it in South Africa, so I am not protecting or excusing racism from whichever race group.

Also, please take note that we have not forgotten that you were chiefly responsible for bringing Jacob Zuma to power. You are part of the reason our country is in such a mess. You aided and abetted his rise to power. And now you want us to conveniently forget that.

We have not, Mr Malema. You have done more harm and damage to your people, courtesy of your former pal, Zuma, than most politicians and ordinary citizens of this country could ever do!

Oh, and since you are always going on about how you care more about the African person in South Africa, if you do become the president of this country, are you going to be a president to all or are you going to change the constitution, so that South Africa will not belong to all those who live in it? 

Will I, as a South African of Indian descent, be able to call you “my president” out of love and respect, or will it be out of fear?

Mr Malema, what would happen to this country without all of its people together? We eat each other’s food, listen to each other’s music and watch each other’s movies, speak the same slang, we cry with one another when there is a horrific incident or injustice. 

Yes, we have experienced racism and the majority of us have condemned it and would not tolerate it in our daily lives. But don’t try to divide us.

Apartheid couldn’t do it and neither will you.