Juju’s dis­claimer clar­i­fies com­ment

The Star Early Edition - - OPINION & ANALYSIS -

JULIUS Malema’s com­ment on Indian South Africans has at­tracted crit­i­cism from sev­eral quar­ters be­cause it has been taken as a gen­eral com­ment against the en­tire Indian pop­u­la­tion.

The re­al­ity is that many Indian South Africans do pay their work­ers a min­i­mum wage and treat them with re­spect.

But Malema’s com­ments must also not be viewed in iso­la­tion.

What he said was not di­rected against the en­tire com­mu­nity, but against those who ex­ploit their work­ers.

This was an im­por­tant dis­claimer from Malema that went largely un­re­ported: “If you are Indian and you pay your peo­ple well, don’t worry. If you are Indian and you re­spect your fel­low hu­man be­ings, don’t worry.”

He went on to say: “But if the shoe fits, wear it. If you are one of those that the peo­ple of KZN spoke about when I was go­ing door to door, then you must know that you are no friend of ours.”

There has been wide­spread re­ac­tion to Malema’s com­ments.

It in­cluded peo­ple like Sch­abir Shaik, who de­scribed Malema as a “fool”.

How­ever, Shaik may have been the big­ger fool for com­ment­ing on an issue while on med­i­cal pa­role.

Given the his­tory he has with Pres­i­dent Ja­cob Zuma, it would be wise for him to open his mouth only for med­i­ca­tion.

An­other in­di­vid­ual who makes no sense is Jonathan An­nipen of the Mi­nor­ity Front.

He got off to a de­cent start when he said his party would re­port the mat­ter to the South African Hu­man Rights Com­mis­sion.

But he lost the plot when he said he would ap­proach the High Com­mis­sion of In­dia in South Africa. An­nipen, a for­mer school­teacher, needs to learn that South Africa is a sov­er­eign coun­try and he, for bet­ter or worse, is a South African.

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