The inflammatory social media comment from Gagasi FM’s newsreader Professor Thelejane has sparked uproar within the South African Indian community. The backlash against Thelejane’s follows the viral post where he commented on the social media platform, Facebook, expressing his hate for South African Indians.
On the Facebook post, the former Gagasi FM newsreader commented, “You should have beat him up how I hate Indians” in response to a news article posted by another social media user.
Gagasi FM and Professor Thelejane had soon started to take flack from South African Indians and the greater social media community for the racist comments. The KZN radio station is based
Within a matter of hours, the regional radio station Gagasi FM issued a statement revealing that Thelejane is not in the employ of the station following the post going viral. Gagasi FM posted the following statement distancing the KZN radio station from the comments made by Thelejane.
“Gagasi FM has noted a social media post linking the station to the views expressed by its former newsreader, Professor Thelejane. We would like to put it on record that Thelejane is no longer in the employ of the station and the unfortunate views he expressed about the Indian community are not consistent with the values of Gagasi FM.”
Social media users react
Following the release of the statement from the regional KZN radio station, Gagasi FM, social media users share their views. One Facebook user on the Name Shame & Expose Durban community group commented,
“Gagasi FM would like to know what are your values towards the constantly marginalised indian community of durban surely there must be an apology issued and the man must rectify his destructive and devisive behaviour which are detrimental towards SA ‘s national democracy ,social cohesion and diversity of the land.Such racist remarks cannot ve tolerated this is an insult to not punish this person if it were the other way the roads would have been burned and protests would have been the order of the week for durban ! We cannot have this nonsense almost 27 years into democracy”
Is there an anti-Indian agenda or just spurts of hurt left from an apartheid-era?
Previous instances of hate-inciting incidents against South African Indians have spurred debate and some of the most prominent events are documented in Professor Brij Maharaj’s paper, “Go home! Go home to Mumbai! The anti-Indian discourse in the post-apartheid era” presented at the Global Conference on Indian Diaspora Studies, Challenging Perspectives
Conference at The Hague, Netherlands in 2017 highlights some core anti-Indian that have
In early 2002, internationally renowned playwright and composer, Mbongeni Ngema released an inflammatory anti-Indian song, AmaiNiya, in the Zulu language in which he called for “strong and brave men to confront Indians … Whites were far better than Indians … we are poor because all things have been taken by Indians. They are oppressing us”. The song was condemned by the South African Human Rights Commission and was subsequently banned from the airwaves.
Other attacks include the head of South Africa’s Government Communication and Information Services, and the President Black Management Forum, Jimmy Manyi’s suggestion that there are too many Indians in KwaZulu-Natal, and that many of them buy their way to the top. The leader of the ANC Youth League Julius Malema made reference to ‘amakula’ (coolie – a derogatory term for Indians) when addressing a meeting in Thembelihle, “where service-delivery protests have been lent a sharper edge by perceptions that Indian residents of nearby Lenasia are treated better by the government”.
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Source inputs: Brij Maharaj Paper | Gagasi FM