Indians in South Africa feel need for a pressure group


Durban : In response to the debate triggered by former anti-apartheid activist Fatima Meer’s recent comments seeking revival of Natal Indian Congress, a number of Indian origin natives have said there is a need for a pressure group for the community in the African country.

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Responding to the question of revival of NIC or need for another pressure group representing the community, a number of callers in a radio talk show today favoured the need for such a lobby for the Indians in South Africa.

Although, two top leaders of the now disbanded NIC, Dr Farouk Meer and Mr Paul David, together with ANC leaders, Willis Mchunu, speaker of the KwaZulu-Natal Provincial Parliament, and Mr Yusuf Bhamjee, Mayor of Pietermaritzburg, guests on the show disagreed to the need for any such race specific group.

Both Meer and David were critical of the ruling ANC but felt that there was no need for the revival of the NIC.

“We cannot revive the NIC with a racial tag to operate in a non-racial society”, said Meer.

Mr Mchunu and Mr Bhamjee were also of the view that the ANC was the home of all progressive forces, irrespective of race, creed, or colour.

While the four guests were clear about the ANC being the home of all progressive forces, most callers, however, felt that there was a need for a “pressure group”, “lobby group” or a “forum” to be established within the community.

“I would feel more at home with a progressive organisation taking up the interests of the people than all of us belonging to the ANC. We need to have a pressure group to work with the ANC, not against it,” said a caller.

“The pressure group could be similar to other groups that are currently alliance partners of the ANC,” he added.