The South African Tamil Federation landed in hot water last week over utterances regarding the festival of Diwali.
The Federation had issued an official release proclaiming Diwali a public holiday, however in South Africa Diwali is not a gazetted day off. The Federation’s President, Marie Pillay-Ramaya has shifted some of the blame to Newsbreak Lotus FM for the embarrassment caused to the Federation.
In a statement issued last week following the debacle, “We firmly believe that our press statements & Newsbreak interview with Ms Prabashini Moodley (Producer/Presenter SABC News) was taken out of context.”
Listen to the SA Tamil Federation President’s statement on Newsbreak Lotus:
A day later the South African Hindu Maha Sabha rejected the Tamil Federation’s proclamation over Diwali being a public holiday. Listen to the Maha Sabha’s president, Ashwin Trikamjee’s interview the next day with Newsbreak Lotus FM.
The SA Tamil Federation admits that their reference to “public holiday” should have read “religious holiday” and apologized for misleading the public.
Although we announced that the 19th October is an entitlement for the “religious holiday” (per the Dept of Education – PD Circular No 39 of 2008), they emphasize:-
- “provided that the principals of these schools and universities formally apply to the Department for authority to have their institutions closed for this religious observance.