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Mandela Steps Into Racism Row

on 2001/2/27 8:47:02 ( 1368 reads )


JOHANNESBURG, SOUTH AFRICA, Feb 25, 2001: Former South African President Nelson Mandela has condemned "arrogant" members of the country's African majority who have suggested that minority groups have no role to play in South Africa. The interview with the Johannesburg-based Sunday Times, came in response to a report in the same paper last week about a prominent lawyer who had made a racist swipe at an Indian South African theatre boss. Mr. Mandela said he was concerned about increasing racial polarization, in particular a "widening of the gap" between Africans and Indians. "Some Africans ...... now throw their weight about as a majority. There are some Africans who inspire fear in the minorities because of the way they behave," he said. At a board meeting of Durban's Playhouse Company in November, a member of the KwaZulu-Natal Arts and Culture Council, lawyer Edmund Radebe chairing the meeting said: "I don't think education and development -- I am not being a racist, please -- can be run by an Indian." After the discussion was made public, the theatre's former acting deputy director, Gitanjali Pather quit. Mr. Mandela in outrage at the comment, called on the ANC, the ruling party which he previously led, to do more to bridge the gaps between race groups.

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