Johannesburg: A minority rights body in South
Africa has charged firebrand youth wing leader Julius Malema
of the country`s ruling African National Congress with making
derogatory remarks against Indians.
The South African Minority Rights Equality Movement
(Samrem) has brought `crimen injuria` charges against Malema
for alleged defamatory remarks about Indians.
Crimen injuria is a crime under South African common law,
defined to be the act of "unlawfully, intentionally and
seriously impairing the dignity of another."
Samrem laid the charge after Malema referred to "amakula",
an indigenous language derivative of the word "coolie" at a
recent public gathering.
The word "amakula" has been constitutionally outlawed in
But Malema, who had previously apologised for using the
word without knowing that it caused offence, has offered to
meet with Samrem, comprising largely South African members, to
discuss what he called "misperceptions" over his use of the
Samrem convener Ashen Singh said Malema had contacted the
organisation to indicate his willingness to discuss the
matter, adding that if there was consensus, the charges
against him would be dropped.
Malema is currently awaiting the outcome of a two-month
long disciplinary hearing for bringing the ANC into disrepute.
The hearings concluded on Sunday and the keenly awaited
outcome is expected later this week.
Analysts said Malema was likely to face serious
sanction, as he had a suspended sentence hanging over his head
at the time of his second offence.
"(Malema`s actions) was one of the reasons the ruling
party is losing support among the Indians and Coloureds (mixed
race)," Singh said, referring to the ANC`s maiden loss since
the first democratic elections in 1994 to the Opposition
Democratic Alliance in several largely Indian residential
areas during elections in May.