Ebrahim Moosa – Cii News | 04 September 2012
Former ANC Youth League(ANCYL) President Julius Malema has called on South African Indians to ‘adopt’ poorer indigenous families to aid the nation’s economic transformation.
In an exclusive interview with Channel Islam International(Cii) on Tuesday, Malema spoke at length about his vision. “The Indian community, with their limited resources, is called upon to adopt at least one family of the poorest and ensure that, that family – their children do not go to school without having a meal, without having a uniform, and that such a family does not go to bed without having had something to eat.”
Malema said such gestures may be deemed insignificant, but would be invaluable in nation building. “They will be contributing to changing the life of an ordinary person,” he said, adding that education was a critical factor in empowerment. “After everything else, the only thing that can create a sustainable economic freedom is education- education is at the centre of our liberation.”
Malema said he believed Indians could play an important role in facilitating education for the poverty stricken, thereby aiding economic emancipation. “Let’s get our Indian community entering in that space, adopting African families that are poverty stricken – invest in such a family to the point where the family produces a graduate, and that graduate can then take over from them.”
The colourful politician said the benefits of such a partnership would be widespread. “In that way, we’ll be closing ranks, we’ll be united and it will do away with racial stereotypes. Through that adoption of poverty stricken families, it will go beyond helping them, because we will now be introducing each other to our cultures, we’ll now be knowing each other more and in that way we’ll be building a united nation as envisaged by the former President Nelson Mandela.”
Malema also paid homage to Indians for their role in the South African liberation struggle. “Indian people were part of our struggle, they were at the receiving end, they were under attack from the oppressor – and therefore when we speak about a total emancipation for the black majority, it is not to the exclusion of the Indian community.” He said Indians did feature in his vision for economic freedom and acknowledged the Indians who were already playing an active role within ANC structures.
Of particular value to South Africa, he said, was the business acumen of Indian communities. “They’ve got a very special role to play in the total liberation of our people, particularly economically, because they are born entrepreneurs. They are very good in doing business and can play a greater role in ensuring that we create a sustainable economic development with their involvement.”
Malema stressed the importance of peaceful mobilisation to remedy the economic ills of society, warning of dire consequences if moves were not initiated fast enough. “If we are going to leave a pretentious lie, then we are going to be shocked as a nation because, one day, there will be uprisings out of suppressed anger and that uprising will be uncontrollable as it will reverse all the pretentious peace we have been having which is not sustainable.”
LISTEN to the complete interview HERETags: ANCYL, Ebrahim Moosa, Indians, Julius Malema, Poverty