African National Congress suspends Indian-origin leader

Johannesburg : An Indian-origin leader whose comments against the Indian community in South Africa sparked a racial controversy has been suspended by the African National Congress (ANC) Saturday, a media report said.

Visvin Reddy, a former municipal councillor of eThekwini in Kwazulu-Natal province and ANC Chatsworth branch chairman, made a comment on Facebook Wednesday that said the Indians who complain about the ANC government should go back to India.

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“His recent remarks on a public platform… the party views as out of line with the position of the organisation,” SAPA quoted a statement by the ANC’s KwaZulu-Natal provincial secretary Sihle Zikalala.

Zikalala said the ANC believed in non-racialism.

“To you anti-ANC commentators… wait until May 8. The ANC will still rule this country,” Reddy had said in his Facebook comment.

“You whiners should leave. Go to India and you will see what a good life we have here. Continue with your garbage and marginalise yourself further. Do not blame the ANC, blame yourself.

“You have not yet embraced democracy. Only a foolish Indian in South Africa will not engage the majority constructively,” Reddy, himself of Indian descent, said in his Facebook post.

The country’s general elections will take place May 7.

In a statement Thursday, Zikalala said: “We view Reddy’s utterances as totally uncalled for and not reflecting the principles of democracy.

“The ANC indeed needs the support of Indians and the organisation would never stoop to the level of those who voice their disrespectful sentiments about this community.”

Zikala also said a disciplinary hearing for Reddy would follow.

An apologetic Reddy Friday said that he realised his Facebook comment was “idiotic”.