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Indian Diplomats called ‘coolies’ experience racism at Diwali event in South Africa

#SOUTHAFRICA: Diwali across South Africa saw the Festival of Light being celebrated with much fervour and coming together of families and friends.

However, the Ramlall family – who are located close to South African president Cyril Ramaphosa’s residence – were verbally attacked and harassed during their Diwali event at home.

The Ramlall family hosted a party for around 60 – 70 guests that consisted of foreign nationals and diplomatic staff that are working in South Africa.

Pradeep Ramlall explained that their celebration was in full swing with a firework display just after half past seven on Sunday night. A resident in the estate approached them and began his tirade against the celebration that was being hosted.

“He said we were coolies and k*****s and that we must go back to India.”

Pradeep Ramlall

The assailant continued to harass the family when he pushed Ramlall’s wife Rekha. The unnamed man then attempted to assault well-known South African advocate, Ajay Sooklal.

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Assistance from complex security only arrived when the Ramlall’s 84yo mother walked to security and asked them to assist in the incident.

Rekha also stated how when the man left he continued using abusive language. The assailant allegedly called her son, Doctor Aryesh Ramlall, the “k-word.”

WATCH THE VIDEO OF THE INCIDENT

Rekha Ramlall noted the whole thing as an “unfortunate incident.” She shared how they had taken precautionary measures by circulating flyers ahead of the event to alert other residents of the Diwali celebrations.

The complex’s supervisor also went ahead and alerted all the tenants about the event following permission being granted for the event.

South African Hindu Maha Sabha calls for strong action

The president of the South African Hindu Maha Sabha (SAHMS), Ashwin Trikamjee, said there were still people who didn’t understand what the festival was all about despite a pre-Diwali education drive that was hosted.

Speaking about Sunday’s incident and the man involved, Trikamjee said:

“He must be charged criminally and go to jail.”

 Ashwin Trikamjee, President of the South African Hindu Maha Sabha (SAHMS)

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Ramlall intends lodging a complaint with the SA Human Rights Commission in addition to opening criminal charges against who allegedly hurled racist insults at him and his guests.

“They were shocked. It was the first time they ever experienced this kind of racism. We like to think we are united as a nation, that we understand each other’s cultures and traditions, but this is not the case,” said Ramlall.

Ramlall said Venter and his mother had approached his son on Monday, pleading that they do not proceed with any legal recourse.

“They apologised and begged my son to drop the case, but how can we let this rest? He blatantly swore at my children and wife, he disrespected and undermined myself and my guests. We will not take this sitting down.”

Source inputs: TimesLIVE | The South African


About Indianspice Staff Reporter

Report and write stories for Indianspice.co.za. It is our ambitious goal to cover issues/events/news concerning South Africa and the diaspora.

2 comments

  1. I am the founder of the Phoenix SPCA an animal rights activists.I have always educated via media the proper use of fireworks and the precautionary measures one needs to take with their pets during the festive season whether it’s Diwali,Guy Fawkes,New Year.Children need to be under careful supervision when lighting any fireworks.Consideration needs to be given to old age people,sickly people under medication.It is only during our Diwali celebration that there is an uproar about fireworks with racists insults .I wonder whether these racists people enjoying eating although they call them animal lovers.When the apartheid regime that where using heavy ammunition and artillery against the oppressed ie.Soweto Rights and other political activists did these people object then because that was worse than fireworks.We need to send a strong message to these racists people that we are living in a Rainbow Nation they must be thankful to Nelson Mandela that he forgave his oppressors for the sake of peace and unity.Human Rights Commission must act decisively to bring these culprits to pay heavy fines or jail sentence.

  2. Take him to task.

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