‘De-register anti-Indian party’

2014-02-06 00:00

THE SA Minority Rights Equality Movement (Samrem) says it has a strong case to take up with the Independent Electoral Commission (IEC) to call for the de-registration of a KZN party pitching anti-Indian sentiment.

“There are grounds to complain to the IEC to have the party not contesting the elections. We have something to work on in the statements they made to the newspaper,” said Samrem convenor Ashin Singh.

Singh was responding to yesterday’s article in The Witness on Ubumbano Lwesizwe Sabangoni (roughly translated as “coalition of Nguni-speaking people”), which has registered with the IEC as a political party and is poised to contest the KZN provincial elections.

Ubumbano, formed as an organisation in 2009, was registered as a party late last year and its address is in predominantly Indian Phoenix.

The party has refused to furnish The Witness with a copy of its constitution.

Party leader Mehlwenkosi Hamilton Buthelezi was quoted as saying the party represented the black people of Nguni origin, who are marginalised in the provincial economy.

Buthelezi had insisted that Ind-ians, Chinese, Pakistanis and other foreigners of white origin were in control of the province’s economy.

He said Indians were not included among the “blacks of KZN” and were excluded from the party.

The launch of Ubumbano comes amid the formation of two task teams by the provincial government to investigate the awarding of tenders by the KZN administration, and to engage pressure groups and affected Indian business people.

This was sparked by calls from the Mazibuye African Forum, which wants Indians barred from benefiting from affirmative action and black economic empowerment, while the Imbumba Business Empowerment group threatened to boycott the elections if the ANC did not stop awarding tenders to Indians.

Singh said Samrem was collating complaints from concerned people about Ubumbano and other similar groups. He said some felt the groups were a ploy by the ANC and DA to influence Indians to vote for them in the elections.

At the time of going to press, no statement had been issued by the provincial government following the meeting of the executive council that was expected to receive reports from the task teams.

• The IEC yesterday announced the de-registration of the following five parties: Justice Party, Real Congress, United Democratic Civic Organisation, Unemployed People’s Party and the Christian Front.

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