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Racism by Indian-origin minister

Racial remarks by South African minister of Indian origin, Amichand Rajbansi, has led to demands for his removal.

india Updated: Jan 19, 2006 14:30 IST
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Racial remarks by an Indian-origin minister of the ANC-led provincial government in KwaZulu-Natal has created a furor in the state with the demand for his removal from the ministry gaining momentum.

Amichand Rajbansi, leader of Minority Front, an ally of African National Congress (ANC), was accused of writing an article in a community newspaper that Africans should not be allowed to move into low-cost houses in the township of Chatsworth in Durban.

Rajbansi has denied that he wrote the article calling the South Africans "rapists and killers", but blamed a junior party worker for creating the fiasco. But he claimed that there were no racial overtones in the letter published as an 'advertorial letter'. Condemning his use of "racist" language to garner votes for the local government elections on March 1, Stanley Moonsamy, an ANC leader said such kind of language was "unacceptable" in South Africa and the country "belongs to all and we all have to learn to live with all people?"

The local 'Daily News', edited by Indian-origin Dennis Pather, wrote an editorial condemning the letter and said Rajbansi was a product of "apartheid politics."

The 'Daily News' said in its editorial: "Such blatant racism, even from a man of Rajbansi's reputation, is mind-boggling at this time in our history."