Premier condemns racial slur on radio

2012-03-22 14:42
Mahikeng - A government spokesperson and a radio presenter who referred to Indians as "makula", which has been translated as "coolies", during a radio current affairs programme should publicly apologise, North West Premier Thandi Modise said on Thursday.

"There is no place for such insensitive name-calling in our democracy as they undermine progress we have registered towards building a united, non-racial, non-sexist, peaceful and democratic society," she said in a statement.

"[It] should be condemned by all committed to reconciliation and nation-building."

Modise's spokesperson Lesiba Kgwele said the premier was responding to a programme broadcast on North West FM on Wednesday night.


Provincial sports, arts and culture department spokesperson Abe Mogashoa had reflected on the attendance of minorities at public holiday celebrations, saying that "even the makula was there", said Kgwele.

The presenter, Thabo Moyo, then responded by saying: "Yes, I saw them."

"Both of them concurred and no one pointed out that it was wrong to say that," said Kgwele.

North West FM station manager, Raymond Makamo, said the station viewed the racial slur in a serious light and would investigate.

ANC Youth League president Julius Malema came under fire when he used the same term in a speech last year. "There is no person who must live without electricity or water, there must be no child who can't go to school because his parents can't afford to pay for school fees," he told residents of Thembelihle, near Lenasia, in October.

"All children must go to school. Bana ba lena ba tshwanetse ba dumelelwe gore ba tsene sekolo le bana ba makula mona" (Your children must be allowed to go to school with makula children).

At the time, University of the Western Cape linguistics Professor Rajend Mesthrie said it was understandable that Indians might find the word offensive, but that it should be viewed in the context in which it was said.

"Most of the time, given the right context, it's not derogatory," he said.

The ANC Youth League later said Malema had not intended to give offence, but said it understood that some might have "received the message differently".

"The ANCYL will therefore not use the word makula to refer to South Africans of Indian origin, because we appreciate and acknowledge that it is not an appropriate word," it said.

Read more on:    ancyl  |  thandi modise  |  julius malema  |  mahikeng  |  racism

Join the conversation! encourages commentary submitted via MyNews24. Contributions of 200 words or more will be considered for publication.

We reserve editorial discretion to decide what will be published.
Read our comments policy for guidelines on contributions.
NEXT ON NEWS24X publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
Comments have been closed for this article.

Inside News24

How much food do you need to concentrate?

We have been taught that we need three meals a day in order to make it through the day and while most of us indulge in more than our fair share there is a large portion of South Africans who are living off barely enough to sustain them.


Book flights

Compare, Book, Fly

Traffic Alerts
There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.


Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.

Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire network.


Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.

Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.