S Africa`s ANC dissociates itself from anti-Indian song
South Africa`s ruling African National Congress (ANC) has dissociated itself from a racist song which calls for local Indians to "go back across the sea or face action."
Johannesburg: South Africa`s ruling African National Congress (ANC) has dissociated itself from a racist song which calls for local Indians to "go back across the sea or face action."
The song `Umhlab Uzobuya` in Zulu, by a rap group called AmaCde (The Comrades in the Zulu language) is similar to one titled `Ama Ndiya` by renowned Zulu playwright Bongani Ngema in 2002, which was banned from public broadcasting by authorities because "it promoted hate in sweeping, emotive language against Indians as a race group."
The lyrics refer to a young man tempted to resort to violence for his treatment at the hands of someone called Naicker, a well-known surname in the local Indian community.
The trio of young rap singers in the song said they were members of the Mazibuye African Forum, which has made vehement calls in the past year for action against the Indian community, which the organisation said had been privileged during the apartheid-era and continued to benefit from major projects at the expense of Black South Africans under the government`s Black Economic Empowerment (BEE) laws.
Sihle Zikalala, the ANC`s Provincial Secretary in KwaZulu-Natal province which is home to about two-thirds of South Africa`s 1.4 million Indians descended from the first sugarcane farm workers arrived there in 1860, said the party considered the song to be discriminatory in the hate speech it contained against Indians.
"The approach that the people who have compiled the song have taken is nothing but a divisive approach, which could end up pitting our people against each other," Zikalala told the weekly Mail and Guardian.
Zikalala said the ANC wanted to state categorically that it was not part of the song initiative, even though the group is named `Comrades`, the term by which ANC members refer to each other.
The suggestion that Indians unduly benefited was dismissed by Shan Balton, Executive Director of the Ahmed Kathrada Foundation, named after the activist who spent decades in prison with Nelson Mandela.
The Foundation aims to promote non-racialism in South Africa.
"It is not true that all Indians benefit from BEE and that all Indians are bad employers, as has been alleged," said Balton, calling on the provincial government that is probing these claims to release its findings as a matter of urgency.