Daniel Friedman
3 minute read
19 Jun 2018
11:39 am

Malema was right, say some after Indian woman’s racist airline incident

Daniel Friedman

A racist incident on a Kulula flight has been seen by EFF supporters as showing that his recent controversial comments about Indian people are not without truth.

EFF Commander-in-Chief Julius Malema

Malema has caused huge controversy with his comments at a rally accusing Indian and coloured people of being racist.

“The majority of Indians are racists – they see themselves better than most of us. Even coloureds see themselves [as] better than blacks,” Malema said while speaking to a crowd of supporters at a rally held on Youth Day in the North West city of Klerksdorp.

Some feel Malema’s assertion that most Indian people are racist and that many coloured people are too, itself constitutes racism.

READ MORE: Malema to be dragged to court over comments about Indians

However, some of Malema’s supporters have taken to social media to voice their support for his statements, which they consider to be true.

An incident on a Kulula flight last Friday involving a 26-year-old South African Indian woman named Alochna Moodley has been considered by some on Twitter as vindication of Malema’s controversial comments.

Moodley was spotted by Reverend Solumuzi Mabuza, who was seated next to her, typing the ‘k-word’ in a text message.

Mabuza, who saw her use the racial slur while expressing anger that someone on the flight was drunk while another person was “sniffing” then alerted the flight attendant, who removed Moodley from the flight before takeoff.

Moodley has since blamed Kulula’s delays for her “frustration” and admitted to the comment. “It was a mistake on my side, I am not going to deny that I said those things,” she said.

READ MORE: Kulula plane delayed after captain called the k-word

Malema has expressed his view that Indian South Africans are predominantly racist before. At the EFF’s 4th anniversary celebrations held in Durban in July, 2017, Malema courted controversy when he said: “We also want to call upon our fellow Indians here in Natal to respect Africans. They are ill-treating them worse than Afrikaners will do. We don’t want that to continue here in Natal. This is not anti-Indian statement, it is the truth.”

While many condemned Malema’s remarks, an article in The Daily Vox by a South African Indian woman, Aaisha Dadi Patel, argued that Malema “might have a point” about racism towards black people within the Indian community.

In the article, Patel argued there was indeed an issue with the way some Indian South Africans treated black people, and that Malema’s comments had “paved the way for Indian people to confront some uncomfortable truths”.

Recently, EFF chief whip Floyd Shivambu was the subject of controversy regarding the EFF’s views on Indian South Africans after he questioned the presence of Treasury deputy director-general Ismail Momoniat’s presence in finance committee meetings and accused him of undermining “African” officials at Treasury.

The response of EFF supporters on social media shows that, regardless of the controversy Malema and Shivambu’s comments have caused, their views about Indian and coloured South Africans are not without support.