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S. Africa’s opposition demands probe on Indian Gupta family


Cape Town: The National Assembly should investigate “patterns of state capture” by the Indian Gupta family, South Africa’s opposition Democratic Alliance said on Sunday.

The DA made the appeal after Jackson Mthembu, Chief Whip of the ruling African National Congress (ANC), voiced support for calls to investigate “patterns of state capture” by the Gupta family, Xinhua reported.

The wealthy Gupta family, which allegedly keeps close ties with President Jacob Zuma, his family and ANC officials, has been accused of exerting undue influence on South Africa’s state affairs by offering cabinet posts to ANC officials.

The family has, however, denied the accusation.

Earlier this month, DA Leader Mmusi Maimane submitted a substantive motion in the NA, requesting that the House establish an ad hoc committee to investigate revelations regarding the Gupta family and their illicit influence over the Presidency and Executive.

If Mthembu is serious and not merely offering lip service, he and his caucus should support this motion in the NA and work with the opposition to ensure that this ad hoc committee is free of political influence, the DA said in a statement.

“The Gupta family’s influence has infiltrated various government departments and appointment processes, and it is important that an ad hoc committee represented by these portfolios investigate these allegations and report to Parliament,” DA Chief Whip John Steenhuisen said in the statement.

If any undue influence or improper conduct is found, the committee should recommend swift action against all those who have compromised their oaths of office, Steenhuisen added.

The committee, he said, must also recommend measures to prevent similar incidents from occurring in future to ensure that a fair South Africa is maintained. (IANS)


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Ethnic Indian Jai Sears responds to complaint against the statue of Gandhi in Grenada

Jai Sears wrote in response to a letter on Mahatma Gandhi entitled “Dustbin of history” written by Josiah Rougier

Mahatama Gandhi, leader of non violence

Jai Sears from Grenada, Caribbean has written a letter to editor in response to complaints against the statue of Gandhi in Grenada. Here is the text:

I write in response to a letter on Mahatma Gandhi entitled “Dustbin of history” written by Josiah Rougier and published in the Grenada newspaper, The New Today (Nov 3, 2017). In his letter, Rougier is asking the Government to remove the bust-statue of Gandhi which overlooks Sauteurs Bay in Grenada where East Indians arrived 160 years ago. Rougier’s opinion is based on the false notion that Gandhi was racist because the Mahatma reportedly considered Indians to be superior to black Africans when he referred to the latter as “kaffirs.”

Gandhi was only 27 years old when he made that contextual statement. If Rougier had done his research, he would have found that Nelson Mandela said: “Gandhi must be forgiven for these prejudices in the context of the time and the circumstances.” The quote can be found in “Gandhi the Prisoner” by Nelson Mandela published in 1995. Gandhi was a man; he was not god. And even god made mistakes.

In favour of Mahatama Gandhi
Photo of Jai Sears

Rougier must instead focus on the Gandhi’s vision of non-violent protest and his belief in satyagraha which inspired rebels and revolutionaries around the world. Gandhi’s ideas influenced leaders of the African National Congress and the struggle by Indians and blacks against white apartheid rule in South Africa. From as early as 1956 when he was 27 years old, Martin Luther King, Jr. referred to Gandhi as “the guiding light of our technique of nonviolent social change.”

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Following the success of his boycott, King contemplated traveling to India to deepen his understanding of Gandhian principles. The fact is that Gandhi saw people of all races, castes, colours and creeds as equal which led to his assassination by a Hindu fanatic in 1948. So who is this unknown Josiah Rougier? Is he as illustrious as the great Nelson Mandela and Martin Luther King? And is he disagreeing with his possible heroes?

A friend to all.
Jai Sears
Grenada, Caribbean

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