Former EFF member Shandu retracts ‘one Indian one bullet’

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Former Economic Freedom Fighter Jackie Shandu has landed in hot water for spewing alleged hate speech on the steps of the Durban City Hall, remarks he has now retracted as words spoken “in a fit of rage” in a new video on social media.

However, leader of the African Democratic Change, Visvin Reddy, said he had filed a criminal charge of incitement to violence against Shandu for the remarks that he made on Thursday.

Shandu, who is now the convenor of the Justice for Phoenix Massacre Victims, told The South African on Friday afternoon that he had “categorically retracted” the hate speech in a follow-up video on Facebook and Twitter. 

In the original video Shandu is seen addressing a small crowd and shouting “one settler, one bullet, one Indian, one bullet.”

“I was caught in a fit of rage because the issue we are dealing with is really hurtful and traumatising, especially when you have been spending time with families of the victims and hearing how they have been killed. In that video I made an unconditional retraction. The remark is unfortunate and I retract it,” he said.

Shandu said in the video that he had made the remarks after submitting a memorandum of demands to the eThekwini Municipality in response to the recent killings in Phoenix during the civil unrest.  The killing of alleged looters has sparked fears of new racial tensions in Durban between Indian and African residents in recent weeks.

Shandu said the killings had not been limited to Phoenix and alleged in his video that cases had also been reported in Chatsworth, Verulam, Sydenham and Isipingo. 

“During our march I made some problematic remarks which with the benefit of hindsight now should not have been said. I said ‘one settler one bullet, one Indian one bullet’. I want to withdraw those remarks because I do not condone violence and I see the potential they have to inflame already existing racial tensions. I just want it to be on record that I am saying that having reflected, having sobered up, of course one was deeply enraged in that moment, one was feeling he hurt and the pain and the trauma, certain things came out, but we are anti-racist in our outlook,” Shandu said.

“We do not condone racism in any way so I just want to put it out there that I retract those remarks,” he said.

Watch the video here:

Reddy said Shandu had no idea of the role South African Indians played in the country.

“There have been some isolated anti-Indian attacks and I dismiss them to be the work of mischievous, young, inexperienced Africans. I was encouraged by the reassuring comments by experienced leaders in our country, like king of the Zulus his worship King Misuzulu, Prince Mangosuthu Buthelezi, Premier Sihle Zikalala and President Ramaphosa,” Reddy said.

“The rubbish spewed by Shandu outside city hall is just too much now. Enough is enough is enough. We will not allow aspiring politicians to divide us. South African Indians and Africans have worked side by side for decades, ever since they arrived in SA as indentured labourers,” Reddy said.

He urged Shandu to look at history and recall Indians such as Ahmed Kathrada, Mac Maharaj, Fatima Meer, Billy Nair and Monty Naicker who had fought alongside Africans to bring about the country’s democratic freedom.  

“As a result of the government that you elected the majority of our black people, that is African, Coloured and Indian live in abject poverty.  Go into the townships, public hospitals and clinics, Indian doctors are saving lives daily of black people. These doctors see no colour. Go to former Indian schools and see the numbers of African children who prefer to travel long distances just to be taught in these schools,” he said.

“When there is a crisis it is the Gift of the Givers, the Hare Krishna movement, the Divine Life Society and various Indian based organisations that reach out and help. Indian businesses employ thousands of Africans and keep the wheels of our economy turning,” Reddy said.

Reddy said he had laid a charge of incitement against Shandu as the words he had spoken constituted a criminal offence. 

“You are not a faceless person, you are known and I therefore demand that the police put you squarely behind bars. We will not rest until we reach and achieve unity in this country. We are all South African. We are born in this country, stop labelling us as foreigners in the land of our birth. South Africa belongs to all who live in it black and white and black is Indian, Coloured, and African,” Reddy said.

When asked to confirm that a case had been opened at Durban Central Police Station, SAPS national spokesperson Brenda Muridili said police could not comment on individual incidents related to the recent unrest.



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