By Neelam Rahim
The ANC in Gauteng has expressed concern over aggressive attacks by racist and right-wing groups on Gauteng ANC Chairperson Panyaza Lesufi. The Provincial Executive Committee says Lesufi is among the ANC leaders who sacrificed their youth and were unfairly detained fighting for liberation. AfriForum is demanding an apology from Lesufi after he stated that organisations such as AfriForum, Freedom Front Plus and others defend a particular race and language.
Joining the discussion with Radio Islam International is the ANC’s Gauteng spokesperson Lesego Makhubela.
According to Lesego, AfriForum will not receive any apology from the Provincial chairperson of the ANC comrades, Panyaza, or the people of South Africa, who will not stand by and let racism rise its head.
He says there is nothing wrong or untoward that Lesufi has said.
The argument that seems to be made in the AfriForum defence is that if they come out promoting a particular race or a language, that is not necessarily racist.
Lesego said the belief of the ANC on which Lesefi speaks on its behalf and defends its policies is that any group that organises itself to retain art-tified symbols and anything which continues to advance the dark days of apartheid is in itself racist.
Lesego further tells Radio Islam the problem started when the MEC of education went to a school in Tshwane, Pretoria, renamed the school from Hendrik Verwoerd High School, now known as Rietondale High School.
He says Panyaza Lesufi is being isolated and attacked as a person because he has been unapologetic about the remaining schools which can divide our society.
According to Lesego, the ANC has no issues with any language in our country, including Afrikaans. Although, the use of a particular language to discriminate against others and not respect the right of others, especially in public, is an issue.
Meanwhile, AfriForum has threatened legal action. Lesego said this is no longer a matter of Lesufi. It is now a matter of the ANC who will defend it.
Listen to the full interview on Radio Islam’s podcast below.