Minority rights group accuses ‘radical forum’ of fuelling racial hatred

2013-11-20 00:00

A MINORITY rights group is pushing back hard against a “radical forum” that wants Indians to be excluded from BEE, affirmative action and other equity policies.

At a meeting on Monday night, the SA Minority Rights Equality Movement (Samrem) vowed to compel authorities to act against Mazibuye African Forum, which it accuses of fuelling racial hatred and attacks against Indians.

“We are going to use the full might of the law to crush them,” Samrem convenor Ashin Singh told businessmen and some politicians in Newlands.

The meeting was called following two incidents in which the Forum led protests in the Phoenix Industrial Park on Saturday and Monday on behalf of workers who are allegedly exploited and paid below the legal pay rate by Indian businesses.

The meeting was attended by business people and ANC leaders, including uMgungundlovu mayor Yusuf Bham­jee.

The meeting was told about the emergence of Mazibuye African Forum — which claims Indians control the economy of KwaZulu-Natal and exploit African workers.

Mazibuye’s founder Zweli Sangweni previously told The Witness that the forum wanted Indians to be excluded from BEE, affirmative action and other equity policies.

Sangweni had said the forum wanted legislation to be formulated setting out clear percentage targets on the number of Africans to benefit from the different sectors of the economy within a specified time.

Recently, the forum has represented workers, a move that resulted in violent confrontation with armed security guards at a Phoenix retail store.

At the meeting on Monday, video clips were played showing a group of protesters toyi-toying in a shopping mall and singing revolutionary songs under the watchful eye of the police.

The protests continued on Monday, resulting in the arrest of 46, including leaders Sangweni and Mfanufikile Mkhize.

Police spokesperson Captain Thulani Zwane confirmed they were arrested and charged with illegal gathering. They appeared at the Phoenix Magistrate’s Court yesterday and were remanded in custody.

A Mazibuye member said the group was arrested when they picketed after an employers failed to honour a wage agreement reached two weeks ago.

Singh said the forum had embarked on an illegal protest and had no permit for its march. He called the forum a “mosquito group” that made a lot of noise to incite violence and undermine the rights of minorities.

Depending on the outcome of the court case, an interdict was not ruled out, Singh said.

Premier Senzo Mchunu’s spokesperson Ndabezinhle Sibiya said the premier has always condemned the behaviour of Mazibuye and he is of the view that their behaviour will create instability in the province.

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