Zuma warned over alleged ‘racist’ remarks

AfriForum, a South African civil-rights organisation linked to the Solidarity trade union, has accused President Jacob Zuma of dragging the country into “an evil cycle of racial hatred”.

It follows an address by President Zuma on the occasion of the Africa Day Celebrations, University of Pretoria, Mamelodi on the weekend.

According to AfriForum, Zuma said that “Africans lived in peace with each other and had fun, but then came the others”.

Zuma allegedly claimed earlier in the year that all the problems in the country started with the arrival of Jan van Riebeeck.

According to Kallie Kriel, CEO of AfriForum, Zuma’s pronouncements are an uncovered attempt to exempt Afrikaners and whites in particular as a scapegoat in the country.

Kriel said that AfriForum will see to it that Zuma is called to responsibility before international courts of justice if his “rash” pronouncements give rise to increased ethnic conflict.

“It is in the interest of all of us that we are not dragged into an evil cycle of racial hatred by irresponsible leaders such as Zuma,” he said.

Solidarity, meanwhile descibed Zuma’s alleged remarks that Africans had lived together peacefully until “the others” arrived, as xenophobic.

“President Zuma is clearly trying to incite further racial polarisation,” it said.

“Zuma’s remarks confirm his obsession with race in all spheres, which confirms that the motion of no confidence in the Zuma government adopted at the summit is justified,” said Solidarity’s Johan Kruger.

“Zuma’s deliberate distortion of history forms part of the ANC’s attempts to criminalise Afrikaner history on the basis of the party’s ideological viewpoints. Therefore, the Solidarity Movement and its supporters accept the responsibility to convey their history to the next generation,” he said.

On Sunday, Zuma called on South Africans to learn the words of the African Union anthem, as “part of celebrating and reclaiming the African identity of our country and people, which had been suppressed by the racist minority regime of the apartheid era”.

“Starting today, every school, church or community choir and individuals, must practice the African Union anthem so that we can sing at all our important gatherings and celebrations,” Zuma said.

“We urge South African institutions and companies to begin flying the African Union flag together with the South African flag.”

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Zuma warned over alleged ‘racist’ remarks