The Active Citizens Movement has condemned the alleged racist remarks made by Rajesh Gopie on social media that has outraged the South African community.
The organization calls on law enforcement agencies to deal with Gopie “no differently from any other racist that sows division and disharmony by such utterances.”
Gopie had taken to Facebook to rant about the rampage that occurred at the Moses Mabhida Stadium over the weekend. Kaizer Chiefs soccer fans stormed the grounds to vent their dismay at the loss of their team in a match, millions of rands of damage were incurred and injuries were sustained by stadium security.
Gopie wrote: “Yah, and the Baboons like soccer too much so they want to play with human heads.”
Yashica Padia of the Active Citizens Movement was interviewed on Newsbreak Lotus FM this afternoon, 24 April issued the following statement,
“The Active Citizens Movement condemns the racist statements made recently by actor Rajesh Gopie. They are deeply offensive attacking the very core of our human dignity and have no place in a democratic society.
We call on Gopie to retract the comments and unconditionally apologize to the South African community for attacking the dignity of fellow citizens.
Gopie’s comments represent only himself and nobody else and serve to undermine the constructive work being done by South Africans from all walks of life to build a socially cohesive society based on respect, understanding and tolerance.
In this regard he must be dealt with by the law enforcement agencies no differently from any other racist that sows division and disharmony by such utterances.“
Director of the Democracy Development Programme, Rama Naidu says Gopie should be using such incidents to try and foster social unity and not racism. Gopie has deleted the post and apologised. But Naidu says Gopie’s comments cannot be tolerated.
“For me the concern is bigger than Rajesh Gopie’s comment. I mean it’s unfortunate that he would go to Facebook and say something like this, knowing the power of social media. But it does point to a deeper problem about what people are talking about in closed spaces and that we are not hearing it. His comment about baboons and Sparrow’s thing about monkeys are a symptom of a far great problem. I think the full might of the law must be exercised. In this case, with the stadium it was plain hooliganism. The moment you put a colour, ethic, racial issue on it, it changes the whole thing. It’s unforgivable, given the history of instances like this,” says Naidu.
Gopie has rejected being a racist.
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