Malema’s Disclaimer - CATEGORY Daily News: TITLE

Julius Malema’s comment on Indian South Africans has attracted criticism from several quarters because it has been taken as a general comment against the entire Indian population.

The reality is that many Indian South Africans do pay their workers a minimum wage and treat them with respect.

But Malema’s comments must also not be viewed in isolation.

What he said was not directed against the entire community, but against those who exploit their workers. This was an important disclaimer from Malema that went largely unreported: “If you are Indian and you pay your people well, don’t worry. If you are Indian and you respect your fellow human beings, don’t worry.”

He went on to say: “But if the shoe fits, wear it. If you are one of those that the people of KZN spoke about when I was going door to door, then you must know that you are no friend of ours.”

There has been widespread reaction to Malema’s comments. It included people like Schabir Shaik, who described Malema as a “fool”.

However, Shaik may have been the bigger fool for commenting on an issue while on medical parole. Given the history he has with President Jacob Zuma, it would be wise for him to open his mouth only for medication.

Another individual who makes no sense is Jonathan Annipen of the Minority Front. He got off to a decent start when he said his party would report the matter to the South African Human Rights Commission.

But he lost the plot when he said he would approach the High Commission of India in South Africa.

Annnipen, a former schoolteacher, needs to learn that South Africa is a sovereign country and he, for better or worse, is a South African.

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