A Zulu pressure group has called for South African Indians to be excluded from transformation processes, citing "overt racism" towards Black South Africans from the time Mahatma Gandhi was in the country.
But both the provincial government and the Indian community have dismissed the suggestions.
Mazibuye African Forum, claiming to advocate socio-economic justice for indigenous Africans in South Africa, particularly in KwaZulu-Natal province, was reacting to a decision by the provincial government to erect a statue in Durban to commemorate the arrival of the first Indians in 1860 as indentured labourers for sugar cane farms.
"We have and are still calling for the Indians to be completely excluded from Black Economic Empowerment, Affirmative Action as well as Employment Equity unconditionally, with immediate effect and reiterate that their classification with Africans as a previously disadvantaged group is not only counter-productive but counter-revolutionary as well," Mazibuye chairman Zweli Sangweni said in a statement.
"Indians have been overtly racist towards Africans from the time they were brought here by the British imperial government," Sangweni said.