ANC leader makes derogatory remarks about Indians
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Last Updated: Tuesday, November 08, 2011, 21:55
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 the country.

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 word.

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.


First Published: Tuesday, November 08, 2011, 21:55

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