Malema's remarks on Indians 'has the possibility to incite racial hatred'

Durban – The South African Minority Rights Equality Movement (Samrem) on Monday opened a case of hate speech against EFF leader Julius Malema following his statement calling Indians "worse than Afrikaners".

Charges of hate speech and incitement to violence were laid against Malema at the central Pietermaritzburg police station, Samrem chairperson Daleep Lutchman told News24 on Tuesday.

He said Malema’s comments are "utter nonsense and devoid of any facts".

"What he has said has the possibility to incite racial hatred in this country.

"People take seriously emotional statements like these, we have seen it in the past."

Lutchman said the organisation was also busy drafting a South African Human Rights complaint against Malema.

"I hope he has his day in a court. Many people make sweeping statements without justifying them."

During the EFF’s fourth-year birthday celebrations at Curries Fountain Stadium in Durban on Saturday, Malema said Indian people are "worse than Afrikaners".

"This is not an anti-Indian statement, it's the truth. Indians who own shops don't pay our people, but they give them food parcels," Malema told thousands of supporters.

Following the statement, controversial Durban businessman and former advisor to President Jacob Zuma, Schabir Shaik, said Malema "is misinformed".

Shaik was released on medical parole in 2009 after being convicted on charges of fraud in 2005 and sentenced to 15 years in prison.

"This fool is misinformed and does not have any insight with regard to business ownership in KZN. Why does he not talk about Huletts and other big, white capital and business in the province?" Shaik asked on Monday.

EFF spokesperson Mbuyiseni Ndlozi dismissed Shaik’s criticism, saying Shaik should rather focus on his "fake illness" before the political party "call for his parole to be reviewed".

"We shall never keep quiet, particularly in the face of hypocritical criticism coming from convicted criminals like Shaik who in order to avoid serving his sentence, went to fake terminal illness," Ndlozi said in a statement. Malema previously met with Samrem in 2011 when he described Indians as a**kula (c**lies).

Following the meeting, the organisation dropped charges of crimen injuria against the then ANC youth leader.