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.

  • Youefoh - 2012-03-22 14:44

    Boohoo!! when is this crap ever going to end!

      lindz.kok - 2012-03-22 15:08

      never it will never end, also the law concerning racism evects everyone but one politicle group in south africa... the true racists are the ones that see it in everything.

      Squeegee - 2012-03-22 15:24

      Why focus on important things like poverty when you can make speeches about words?

      Art - 2012-03-22 20:03

      I suppose referring to them as CHARR-O's is out of the question? What about the "WIT-O"/ "Mlhungu"??? Or the "PEKKIE-O"??? Everyday speech used in Durban...and no one takes it to heart...or gets upset...

  • Open mind - 2012-03-22 14:53

    Following recent trends on other radio stations - both must be fired...

  • Johannes - 2012-03-22 14:55

    So when Juju says that we must "understand the context".. This country is a joke when it comes to "racist" utterances. It seems that only whites can be fined for making racist comments.

      NrGx - 2012-03-22 15:12

      and indians from a certain gym jailed!

      Riad - 2012-03-22 15:39

      One must bring to mind the publicised Richards bay incident at the infamous “Active Virgins” club and the outcome of that debacle, I take it what’s good for the goose should be good for the gander or so the saying goes therefore its boils down to interpretation of the so called contextual discussion that would cook this goose.

  • Marion - 2012-03-22 15:01

    The usage of the word 'makula' originated when Indians came to SA and was used in a derogatory fashion to refer to them so is offensive to many indians. Pleading 'out of context' or 'ignorance' should be no excuse.

      Johannes - 2012-03-22 15:03

      Correct - We all know what "makula" translates to in English. It is derogatory and claiming ignorance is just an excuse to hide their racist behaviour towards other races in the country.

      makatika - 2012-03-22 16:07

      @Johannes please tell us what it translate to because I could not find it anywhere in my dictionary

      Morné - 2012-03-22 16:17

      @makatika - Wiki quote: "Historically, a coolie (variously spelled cooli, cooly, kuli, quli, koelie etc.) was an asian slave or manual laborer, particularly in China, the Indian subcontinent, and the Philippines during the 19th century and early 20th century. It is also a contemporary racial slur or ethnic nickname for people of Asian descent, including people from South Asia, Central Asia, etc., particularly in South Africa."

      makatika - 2012-03-22 16:35

      @Morné I don't think that is the name we are talking about here, I never heard only refer to Indians as coolies. That sounds like mocking, anyway if it must be banned then why not lobby for that because people will continue to use it like is so normal

  • lindz.kok - 2012-03-22 15:04

    i remeber an incedent in a gym where an indian woman called a black guy the "k" worb she went to jail paid a fine and apoligised, yet these idiots do it on public radio and gets away with an apoligy?

  • Bigsister - 2012-03-22 15:06

    I think we should be white, black, brown, or yellow, no more European, African, Indian or Asian/Chinese. Then lets see who slips up first. The race (no pun intended) is on.

  • Bigsister - 2012-03-22 15:06

    I think we should be white, black, brown, or yellow, no more European, African, Indian or Asian/Chinese. Then lets see who slips up first. The race (no pun intended) is on.

  • Johannes - 2012-03-22 15:07

    I wonder if they would make such a fuss if the radio person used the term "ibunu" in their broadcast. It is ok to say ibunu it seems - even if you say " dubula ibunu"

  • Nyiks11 - 2012-03-22 15:10

    While "Coolies" might be said to offend Indian people , the term "Makula" isn't meant to offend nor is said in the same tone. I grew up being treated by Indian doctors ( Drs Ishmael , Motala etc) and when going shopping Ga-Khadima( Carriem) and Ga-Apo ( Abhoo) we said re ya "makuleng" or "mokuleng" and these were known and accepted terms between the Indians involved and their black customers . But if it offends Indian people then it is about time we mind our langauge

      Peter - 2012-03-22 15:47

      I guess its all about the tone - very true what you say. Would that apply to the "k" word as well ... no, didn't think so. There is a line that needs to be drawn I guess.

  • Kgomotso Radise - 2012-03-22 15:14

    This racial comment must be condemned and Juju happened to be the causality of such derogatory & perverse utterance

      Marion - 2012-03-22 16:24

      @Kgomottso - Initially I read 'casualty' instead of 'causality'.

  • Roy - 2012-03-22 15:27

    Shows you who are the real racist,Blacks. They blame whites,coloureds and all other race groups for anything regards racist remarks but they are the worst

  • Duncan Thabiso Mphailane - 2012-03-22 15:28

    Nomakula Roberts = Kuli Roberts. I don't mean to be insensitive, but tell me, is it now illegal for her to write her own name on an application form?

      lindz.kok - 2012-03-22 15:32

      racist troll

  • Carol - 2012-03-22 15:31

    Oh wotalotofcrap again. Can't we grow up?

      Peter - 2012-03-22 15:51

      It seems not.

  • Heiku - 2012-03-22 15:42

    Ag jirre f** man. Ja kom ons almal huil oor elke blarrie ding

  • Se-a Spencer Ikeremm - 2012-03-22 15:43

    The moment you identify yourself as European/Indian/Latino/Asian South African, to me it just says you're not South African. Drop it. Like BigSister said, let's be either black/white/brown/yello/red etc, all under the umbrella of being South African.

  • James - 2012-03-22 15:51

    so I can use the oh so evil 'K' word and simply say, oops. that word too never had a racial tone to it originally, it was a word used by missionaries for the native population of non-believers which is in fact the meaning of the ' K' word (oops again)

      makatika - 2012-03-22 16:11

      Obviously one stupid person had to emerge, just like that out of the blue.

      richard.hipkin - 2012-03-22 16:46

      @makatika, they crawl out of the gutters from time to time...

  • John - 2012-03-22 15:53

    Maybe this is not a racial slur it could be seen a ethnic critism

  • Shawn - 2012-03-22 15:54

    Keep your apology, our community dosent need anything from asswipes like you. We are better off with out you and by you I mean you as an individual and not our other black collegues and friends,

  • makatika - 2012-03-22 15:58

    I don't see anything wrong with the use of the word, we use it all the time and they know but they never complains just news24 feeding readers crap. I send children to go buy stuff ko "Makuleng", I trust me I don't use the word in a derogatory way, in fact is only today that I hear of this Bull

      makatika - 2012-03-22 16:15

      @raegan.mcreed who cares, I don't have a problem and the K-word was used to refer to Indians too. For me it is just the name, and you can continue saying that as long as you not saying to my face, and strictly warn your children to ever loudly say that in a black's face because trust me it will get you in trouble that you ever thought. If they don't like the name why don't they mobilize for the name to be banned instead

      Marion - 2012-03-22 16:32

      @makatika - You don't see anything wrong with the word because it isn't being directed at you. I think it was made quite public that Indians were very offended when Julius Malema referred to them as 'Makula'. Why should they now mobilize for the name to be banned?

      makatika - 2012-03-22 16:41

      @Marion the named was used before Julius, maybe the media cause all this commotion simply because it was used by Julius. I used to hear the word on radio each time they refer to to Indians. At location are used to refer to their shops, and I can't find any name to use because their shop never had names and you probably find the new on in the shop every week

      richard.hipkin - 2012-03-22 16:48

      @makatika, maybe over the generations people have forgotten that is was initally a derogatory term and used it as merely a phrase or a name but actually it remains offensive?

      Makatikamusona - 2012-03-22 21:13

      @PointBlank Well I will try to never use that word again esp in front of Indians but I guess if you calling people names behind their back it does not really matter to them

      Mmatlou - 2012-04-03 01:09

      I agree with u because always we cal them makula especially at home so whts de prblm

  • Peter - 2012-03-22 16:24

    Why did these "chokolinas" delete my innocent and truthful comment? Pushing censorship to the extreme I'd say - its hard work writing all these comments, and then all that hard work is deleted. Damn naughty if you ask me!

      Marion - 2012-03-22 16:33

      lol. You must learn touch typing and it'll go a bit faster.

      makatika - 2012-03-22 16:44

      Hahahaha "chokolinas" makes me laugh, as for deleting I think it is so common I even think the have some with the title "Deletor" reporting to "Deleting specialist"

      raegan.mcreed - 2012-03-22 17:17

      im sure the ''k'' word also makes you laugh....Lol !

      Makatikamusona - 2012-03-22 18:10

      @raegan.mcreed in fact that does mean anything to me, it goes like that only blacks can say that word but not any other race.

  • Pixie86 - 2012-03-22 16:54

    it seems to me that news24 goes in search of racial based stories and leaves out all other news! Just this week at leak four race based articles have been featured here.

  • roger.pacey - 2012-03-22 18:53

    A couple of days ago, the ruling party castigated Helen Zille as a racist for referring to migrants from the Eastern Cape as "refugees". If so, by their own standards, the above exchange is blatantly racist and should be dealt with most severely.

  • Gavin - 2012-03-22 20:14

    what can we say

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