African man banned for racism against Indian-origin people

Johannesburg, Oct 19 (IANS) A member of a radical forum in the South African province of KwaZulu-Natal (KZN) has been interdicted for allegedly inciting racial hatred against people of Indian-origin, a media report said.

On Saturday, Ravi Pillay, a KwaZulu-Natal Member of the Executive Council (KZN MEC) for Human Settlements and Public Works, and Willies Mchunu, another KZN MEC, obtained an interdict in the high court against Phumlani Mfeka, a member of Mazibuye African Forum, news portal reported.

According to its Facebook page, Mazibuye African Forum, a new radical forum, wants Indians to be excluded from affirmative action and black economic empowerment programmes.

The move to seek the order came to forestall a potentially devastating fallout from an anti-Indian text message that was sent by Mfeka to Pillay on Friday, prompting him and Mchunu to approach the court seeking an urgent interdict.

Justice Piet Koen granted the interdict on Saturday.

Mchunu in his affidavit stated that he and Pillay were in a meeting when Pillay received a text from Mfeka that promoted anti-Indian sentiment and advocated violence.

“He (Mfeka) and the organisation (Mazibuye African Forum) have received much media attention due to derogatory remarks they have made regarding persons of Indian descent. These remarks were not, however, as militant as the one referred to above,” Mchunu’s affidavit added.

Mchunu and Pillay sought that Mfeka “be interdicted and restrained from inciting or advocating hatred against and discriminating against members of the Indian community or any other community in the province of KZN”.

Both further asked the court that Mfeka be stopped from “making any statement which may incite racial violence and that the order include a ban on verbal, written or electronic statements to this effect by Mfeka”.

Following the order, Mchunu said criminal action would be instigated against Mfeka and the matter would be referred to the South Africa Human Rights Commission.

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