'Malema didn't mean to offend Indians'

ANC Youth League President Julius Malema did not mean to be offensive towards Indian people, the organisation said on Thursday.

This followed media reports about Malema telling people in the informal settlement Thembelihle near Lenasia, Johannesburg on Wednesday: “Bana ba lena ba tshwanets e ba dumelelwe gore ba tsene sekolo le bana ba makula mona [your children must be allowed to go to school with coolie children].”

However, league spokesperson Floyd Shivambu said that Malema had emphasised the need for racial integration and had been speaking in the vernacular.

“This was in no way meant to be offensive or derogatory.”

The league said it understood that some members of society “could have received the message differently, yet the emphasis was about integrated human settlement and co-existence of Indian and African communities”.

The league would 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”.

The league added that its mobilisation programme for the Economic Freedom Youth Mass Action was going ahead in all communities, and would “never be diverted by anything else”.—I-Net Bridge


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