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#FeesMustFall and how it showcased Indian South African privilege

Apartheid paradigms of race and class still cast a shadow over certain segments of the South African, Indian, Muslim community, and the Fees Must Fall protests only served to highlight these, writes AAISHA DADI PATEL.

Wits fees protest 3A few weeks ago, I was part of handful of students blocking vehicle entry and exit gates at Wits University, in protest of proposed fee increases for 2016. We didn’t look like much then but our protest would eventually be taken up nationally as #FeesMustFall.

As I stood there, an angry, Indian Muslim guy, whom I recognised as a friend of a friend, stormed through the group, right up to me. “What the hell are you people doing this for? Are you going to pay for my Uber? Fuck you,” he yelled, before making his way off of campus on foot.

I was bemused more than anything else. I certainly wasn’t surprised by the racism, privilege and sheer entitlement displayed by a member of my demographic during these protests.

A fellow member of the Muslim Students’ Association, to which I belong, sent me a frustrated email after the first day of the protest. “I’m almost certain it’s a sin to hold someone captive (against their will), not to mention how fellow Muslims were greatly inconvenienced,” he wrote. “I don’t really see any Islamic principles behind joining this protest.”

This was puzzling to me, when in the same email, he quoted a verse from the Quran which calls for Muslims to advocate justice. Was he saying that we could only seek justice if it was done within parameters which were comfortable – and position that demonstrates a complete lack of understanding of the concept of the protest?

We’re a curious community. Johannesburg’s South African Indian Muslims, that is. We’re a small community, and I’ll say it: many of us are locked in privilege, with our entitled mentalities.

Many of us are relatively well-to-do. Sometimes we come from generational wealth, where our grandparents and those before them laid down the foundations of familial wealth. We are born into the idea that our parents have enough, and will be able to give us whatever we need, or at least make every effort necessary to do so. We’re not short of basics such as food, clothing or basic healthcare; and from the time we are born, we know that after high school we’ll either get a tertiary education or go into the family business. (Although patriarchy still rears its ugly head too; women sometimes get excluded from this norm and can expect marriage by age 20 instead. But I digress.)

Let me be clear. Of course, I am generalising. Of course, I am drawing on my own experiences and my own Johannesburg context.

Not all South African Indian Muslims are wealthy or privileged. And the South African Indian story is diverse, their experiences, growth and status in this country are mixed. I know that, so let’s not play that game.

My intention here is not to paint an entire community with a single brushstroke. I was very disappointed with a lot of what I saw around me, and it’s worth a discussion.

Superiority mindset
During apartheid, Indians were subjugated by the white regime, but were still considered superior to coloured and black people.

Although the state of things has supposedly changed, this mentality still exists in Indian communities today – even among those from my generation, who were born after apartheid ended.

We aspire to whiteness and seek validation by Western (read: white) standards, while feeling superior to black people. We come from spaces where wilful ignorance is bred and racism is the norm, homes where we grow up hearing our grandparents using racial epithets, saying things like “These useless karyas can’t do anything right”, teaching us generalisations based on their bigoted beliefs.

Then we go into the school system, the first environment where we get exposed to people outside of our families. Depending on where we are schooled, we either stay in spaces populated by people who think like us, and so exacerbate the problem, or we begin to interact with people from outside our communities and begin to make our own realisations about what we’d absorbed at home.

Now and then we wear keffiyehs and chant “Free Palestine” or retweet an image of Mgcineni “Mambush” Noki, in his green blanket, and this appeases our consciences. Or we make a trip out of going to the Union Buildings with our friends to join the march for #FeesMustFall, devoid of any understanding of the deeper, systemic inequalities that have resulted in the need for such a march in the first place.

Our families may have only wanted the best for us, but by sheltering us and breeding contempt the way they have, they didn’t do us any favours. Our comfort does more harm than good.

We’re taught that a worthy aspiration is a successful business, a good-looking husband or wife, and a new BMW. We aren’t encouraged to think critically or to question the world we’ve been given. Instead, we take offence at the slightest discomfort and immediately lash out – as my friend-of-a-friend did that Thursday at the Enoch Sontonga entrance to Wits. These were just a couple of incidents. There were countless others that took place over the past few weeks, over the internet and in person, in which my motives for supporting the protests were questioned.

I wonder, is this a middle-class phenomenon that cuts across all race-groups?

Apartheid certainly connived to situate race and class in our society so deeply, it will take years – decades even – for us to decipher the impacts completely.

Of course, one of the most glaring ironies of my argument is the obvious role played by Shaeera Kalla – the former SRC president, and one of the leaders of the Wits student protests. She stood on the front-line from day one, totally at odds with what I have just described above.

But what hasn’t been told is how her behaviour was called into question. Although she did receive some support from the community, many also questioned why she’d chosen this cause.

Ignoring the bigger picture and the student struggles she was fighting for, some of the local brethren took to Twitter and labelled her an attention-seeker.

For me, what the #FeesMustFall movement did, more than anything else, was force people to show their true colours.

– Featured image by Martie Swart, via Wikimedia Commons.
24 Comments
  1. Ahmed says

    One of the most prominent leaders of the #feesmustfall protest is an Indian from ab extremely privileged background. Just saying.

  2. Deem says

    Although I do agree with what you’ve said, the consequences of this article could be much further reaching than you expected. Essentially what you’ve done is very possibly further disrupted the racial/social divide in this country. With tensions rising between all of the ethnic groups in this country, it is unnecessary to add fuel to the fire. If you want to make a point, bring it up with your community. The entire Muslim community gathers at least once a week on a Friday, ask community leaders to make your point and provide guidance. I feel as though this article was written in bad taste and little consideration was given to the consequences that may arise after a few thousand people have read it.

  3. Jason Hanslo says

    Deem you deem to reiterate the writers point and therefore I deem your comment as bad taste, because unlike you the writer is brave….This is a great assessment and as the writer points out the perspective is a middle class perspective, because middle class white, black coloured, indian’s who were priveledged to be schooled in higher education during or post apartheid have been affected by apartheid’s racial slurs by our communities. We are in awe when our community is openly xenophobic among other social ills and it is on these platforms….not in community halls(bigotry breeds) where we all make sense from our experiences. I find it also strange how my community rallies against Israel, but still support Israel by eating KFC, MCdonalds, burger King and continue to shop at Woolies

    1. Deem says

      Before I say anything else, I think my comment about this article being written in bad taste was somewhat out of line. This is due to people often needing an outside opinion or view from a different perspective before things become clearer or seen differently. Jason, I find your comment on community gatherings at a mosque (bigotry breeds) extremely insulting. At the end of the day, when there is a problem in ones home, it should stay at home. Making our shortfalls as a community as public as this, is unnecessary. Often people look to community leaders for guidance and inspiration and this would obviously be the best (first) step in finding a solution and making a difference. Public articles like this will be our downfall as a Muslim community. With so much bad publicity currently, we don’t need more of it! I also find that you have brought the argument of Israel into a conversation where it has no place. Yet another problem, as it seems we care more about things happening outside of our country than in it. Why is that? Because it’s easier to make comments from a distance than it is to deal with issues standing right in front of us. Woolies is a South African born and bred company which imports a very small selection of items from Israel. KFC is an American born and bred company. McDonalds was created in America. Educate yourself about these things and where their money goes, it will make a world of difference. Regards

  4. zunaid says

    All true the writer has express a realty that all middle class citizens face in south africa be it white black indian coloured or any shade in between.Racism existed before democracy, before.captilism or any other doctrine. So yes no to racism is definitely the call here and abroad . expressing or disclosing a wrong needs to be accompanied with a solution or remedy this is where the writer falls short.if you a proud south african indian then be a rep for you cause in that society and start by changing the ideology of your family members and the friend of a friend.you will be surprised to find that your opinion is and was shared by every indian avtivist in this country you have not discovered something new.please contact me so to gather we can start a movement to remedy the illegal use of the word kariyah in our families and communities

  5. Ishaq says

    Exceptionally poor piece both in its form and content.

    You state: “As I stood there, an angry, Indian Muslim guy, whom I recognised as a friend of a friend, stormed through the group, right up to me. “What the hell are you people doing this for? Are you going to pay for my Uber? Fuck you,” he yelled, before making his way off of campus on foot.

    I was bemused more than anything else. I certainly wasn’t surprised by the racism, privilege and sheer entitlement displayed by a member of my demographic during these protests.”

    Based on the information provided, how did you surmise that this “Indian Muslim guy” was displaying racism? That’s quite a leap you’ve made to reach such a baseless supposition.

    Freedom of movement is an axiomatic, universal human right. Not excusing his choice of profane language, said “Indian Muslim guy” verbally indicated his displeasure at your infringement of his basic rights & individual liberties. From whence does indicating one’s discontent at the infringement of one’s rights become racism? I presume whomever does not join you in support of your shortsighted, illogical protests must quiver in fear and bow at the mercy of your racism accusations?

    In fact I’d dare to suggest that even the application of force by Indian Muslim guy in order to restore his basic human right of mobility would not have rendered him outside the ambit of moral appropriateness.

    Reading on, your piece moves from “bemusing” (see what I did there) to downright hilarity and a myriad of facepalms. The irony of you accusing Indian Muslim guy of “sheer entitlement” is lost on you. It is not he that is entitled but you.

    It is you that feels entitled to free education, I presume by attempting to pass off the burden onto hard-working taxpayers who have NOT acceded to fund you and your mates BA degrees. It is you that feels entitled to deny others their freedom of movement. It is you that feels entitled to other ‘free’ state services in an attempt to socialise your personal expenses onto the South African taxpayer. ‘Free’ being inverted in reference to economist Milton Friedman’s popular phrase “there’s no such thing as a free lunch”.

    So when you state: “…many of us are locked in privilege, with our entitled mentalities.” I can only hope that you’re speaking only for yourself and those entitled folks that share your logical fallacies.

    The rest of your article is nothing but emotional waffling not worthy of an intelligent response.

    In conclusion, Indian families, will exercise their liberty to earn their money how they want to, spend their money how they want to, as long as neither contravene state/religious legislation nor infringe on the rights of others, and there’s not a thing you can do about it.

    1. Intersectional says

      I’ve never seen such monumental ownage of an author before. I actually feel bad for her now. I think you should have done more to soften the blow.

    2. Sarah says

      But Ishaq, no one is saying Muslim Indian SAns should not earn/spend their money however they want. In fact SA is one of the only countries in the world where Muslims have complete religious freedom. The free tertiary education model is one that is applied by many successful countries in Europe even. Its not so much about entitlement as it is about trying to provide much needed skills to our economy which is now lagging in growth. SAns are funny. “we need educated skilled people!” we shout everyday. “ok then lets open the gates of education to more people who are smart but can’t afford it” “No! Nevermind.” LOL
      Also to everyone who critiqued Aisha’s article please read up how many white people defend racism, islamophobia and white privilege. You will most probably find similarities in your reasoning.
      Last point: no one was held hostage during the protests. Eg if someone holds you in a room with two doors and does not allow you to leave through the one door that you prefer but suggests that you use the other door, can you claim that you were a hostage, or rather that you were inconvenienced?

      1. Theodore says

        You just exhibited racism by implying all white people are racist, thus contradicting yourself, you racist. In Europe they don’t have free education, I am a dual-citizen that studied in Stockholm. You still have to pay for your education after you have graduated, it’s like a student loan, only primary and secondary education is free. Also another thing you have to factor in is that in Sweden most people pay their taxes, whereas in South Africa, only 7% of the population pay the taxes. White people, and Indian people, are not responsible for your education, you are not entitled to anything, you earn it.

        The reason for Islamophobia in Europe is because we are the only continent on this planet taking in refugees from the middle-east, not your muslim brothers and sisters from neighboring countries, we are taking them, feeding them, using our welfare created by tax payers to care for them. So before you judge white Europeans, maybe look at where 4 million muslims in Europe would be if not for our generosity. America bombed them, then we have to take them, their muslims brethren forsake them to starve, how can we not take them? We are morally far above your cry-baby ilk. You are owed nothing.

        The problem with taking so many refugees is, that in their countries they do not have civilization, they steal, rape, and murder. Not all, but more than 30% of refugees do this, to criticize them for this behavior and the lack of respect for women and our countries in Europe, is not racism or privilege, but logic, and righteousness. So instead of judging Europe, when you live in a country based on European libertarian ideals of gender equality (although South Africa is a failure), why don’t you move to the middle-east, and then we see if you hate white people so much when you can’t drive a car, and can’t own a computer? Fucking hypocrite.

    3. Ryan Harduth says

      This comment presents the exact attitude that the author is trying to show the world. Snide remarks, petty take downs that try to expose small mistakes in an article that is brave. Aaisha has not hidden behind anonymity like the people commenting. It’s people like her who will make South Africa a better place and people like you who will look for excuses largely bigoted communities and hide behind the legality argument.

      Remember on 9 August 1956 when 20 000 women of all races marched to the Union Buildings to protest against the ‘dompas’ system, they too prevented the movement of many people that day. Yet I don’t believe you would argue that the dompas system was legal, which it was, and that there is nothing that these woman could do about it. What a government deems legal does not make it right. As Milton Friedman says “Governments never learn. Only people learn” Ishaq, be one of those people that learn, not one of the those people that hide behind seemingly intelligent arguments to reinforce an injustice.

      What you have done is displayed a sheer insensitivity to the struggle of people that many people have forgotten.

      I applaud you Aaisha.

      Ps. Nelson Mandela studied a BA. Before his LLB.

  6. Mohammed P says

    I am not at all surprised by the comments from the likes of Deem; typical sweeping-it-under-the-carpet mentality that is all too prevalent in the Muslim community, if not the general Indian population. There is without a doubt a simmering tension brewing between Indians and Black South Africans precisely because of brown privilege. And instead of commending the writer for bringing to the fore this issue, he’d rather we keep our heads buried in the sand and discuss it amongst ourselves, in our communities, in our Mosques.

    How can that possibly help when doing exactly that, if we can even be sincere of having done anything meaningful since 1994, hasn’t even seen us acknowledge that this privilege exists, that it’s real, and that it is the root cause of the divide between the two groups; the privileged well to do Indians, and the disadvantaged blacks.

    Here is an opportunity for open discussion and introspection, yet he’d rather we solicit the outdated opinions of self appointed so-called community leaders who’d rather maintain the apartheid era status quo. Because we mistakenly think that to ignore the problem, or at most deal with it on the surface, is easier than confronting the truth that we too are beneficiaries of apartheid era policies.

    Well done Aisha for the article. We need some soul searching.

  7. Mohammed P says

    As for Ishaq, just his last paragraph shines alight on exactly what is wrong with the Indian community; pompous, arrogant and self centred. While there is nothing illegal in having any of these unsavoury traits, it is morally wrong to be unapologetic, as he is, for being unintended beneficiaries of apartheid, and then to even have the nerve deny it. For people like him, maybe only a crowd of raging protesters holding #IndiansMustFall placards will make them realise the extent of discontent harboured towards Indians.

  8. ghaleb cachalia says

    I’m not sure of the value or wisdom of this sort of self flagellation or self-positioning. Racism exists. You will find Black racists, Indian ones, Chinese, Coloured, Jewish and yes, White racists – within which are Afrikaners, English, Scottish, Irish, Greek, Portuguese etc.

    And within each of these groups you will also find many (and I dare say, an increasing number of non-racists – from the youth and changing post-1994 sensibilities). Many people from these groups played important and meaningful roles in the struggle against Apartheid and there were many who chose to remain silent and a fair number who actively supported Apartheid structures (not least, by way of example, a very sizeable number of black folk who actively participated in the Bantustans, the police and armed forces of the time).

    Our society is evolving in very many ways and that represents progress. Surely it is in the crucible of common struggle (in which Shaeera Kalla was a leader) that bonds are built, values shared and developed? And yes, you will always find those who chose not to participate and criticize the actions of those who take a particular course of action. Surely this too is their democratic right? Their non-participation may stem from issues of class, affordability, ideological opposition to the demands and yes, from race-driven attitudes too. I would argue that these attitudes are fairly equally distributed amongst all the groups I mentioned above.

    Even the views of the Muslim Students Association on this occasion (which I don’t often share) and the utterances of the Muslim student cited in the article made no mention of race – to impute racial undertones to this is presumptuous, generalizing and a trifle disingenuous.

    That said, you will find unpalatable racist attitudes and utterances from all groups in varying measure – engage and work within them, at the dinner table, in the places of worship, in the sports clubs and elsewhere.

    The privilege Aiisha Patel speaks of is hardly ubiquitous and was hard-won. The charge of entitlement she refers to can be leveled at many – not least the protesting students, a number of whom sought a blanket educational free ride to high paid jobs at the expense of the common development pot.

    Many complexities abound and while it’s everyone’s right to polarize issues, it’s often wiser to engage – with a considered degree of measure and fairness. Also let’s understand how hastily-compiled and ill-considered diatribes play into the agenda of those who will use it to no good. Watch this space!

  9. shuaib manjra says

    well said ghaleb.

    sample size: n=2

    Won’t even pass elementary grade statistics. Even less evidence for gross generalizations – which by acknowledging it, the author assumes absolves her of making them in the first place.

    but this is the kind of shoddy journalism, sensationalism, and gross generalization that is the wont of the DV.

    Some of the statements she makes are absolutely true, but we need nuance, context, countervailing positions. But that is too much too ask, in the quest to seek relevance.

    Crossing the picket line by those steeped in middle-class privilege is noted in many campaigns. I experienced this from similar middle-class Muslims at university during the anti-apartheid struggle – whose only concern was personal advancement.

    1. Ana says

      Shuaib, what are you trying to say? The statements are true, but you want nuance?lol Why dont you go back to your day job brother.

      1. shuaib manjra says

        your probably will figure out what I am saying if you read carefully. I don’t know your level of comprehension so here is a simplified version.

        you cannot take a sample of two people and use this to generalize to the entire group or the entire country. the experience of wits may be different to uct for example. even for wits the sample size of two paints an inaccurate picture. I concede that I do not know the situation at wits but I do at uct.

        I am further saying that some of her statements may be true, but cannot be used to generalize.

        I am engaging in my day job as a critical activist who hacks at bullshit when it confronts me.

        1. Ana says

          I think you are the hack in all of this. The writer used to examples to illustrate what was going on at Wits. It wasn’t a sample size. I also think your level of comprehension is lacking because you keep on disagreeing while agreeing with it all the while. You have serious denial issues.

  10. Yusuf says

    1.) many indians like my grandfather came from india in the 30’s with nothing. Not even an education. But through very hard work(farm worker) and skillful entrepreneurship(saved and opened a vegetable spaza) he escaped poverty. Very far from privileged. Believe me.
    He lived many years in a township with black people with no advantage over them .in fact friends with them an fluent in sotho.
    2.) this was meant to probably be a whatsapp bc or facebook post to certain social circles you are exposed to. Many indian muslims have no idea what you talking about.
    3.) please come visit some indian townships in natal then rethink your statements. As a social worker i’ve seen far too much to even take your article seriously.
    4.) you are reflecting what you see in your household and immediate environment. Very narrow minded. All rich people including rich black people have the potential of arrogance. Its a human trait. Not an indian one, confused as to why you are feeling special.
    5.)indian generational wealth was mostly due to hard work unlike white generational wealth which was dished out effortlessly.
    6) research the history of indians in south africa, who laid the railways and got whipped in the sugarcane fields. Look up salisbury island prison university and the construction of natal university. So much more to research ..seriously
    7.)karya is as offensive as makula/coolie etc but pseudo caring african right activists wont point out black racism because it does not fit the agenda of gaining popularity by pleasing majority.
    8.) we need to help previously disadvantaged people not by pointing fingers. We all suffered under the struggle. Some just adapted better and had more resilience.
    9.) you are still inexperienced in a social context. Go out more, away from your comfort zone.
    10.) you are asking indians to take the blame of a white made problem. Its natural they will get upset. Many of them suffered immensely under aprtheid. Fought the struggle and worked hard for what they have.
    11.) You should have maybe written an article detailing the underlying issues of the fees must fall protest, how sadaqah and islamic teachings urge us to assist those in need. Pity only muslim brothers and sisters can only benifit from zakat.
    You instead decided to go bashing using isolated college kid situations to extrapolate on an entire race. Very immature. Besides you did hold the guy and many illegally. What if his sibling needed to be rushed to the hospital. What if hes father was on his death bed. What if it was an emergency. You cannot create an injustice by trying to solve another one.
    The root problem is goverment who misuse national funds. The government happen to be mostly privileged black people.
    My point is. You racial activists come across as being the most racist, judgemental and throw around stereotypes more than anyone.
    Next time get it edited. Very grade 9 written style essay. You have some valid points but you just not hitting the nail on the head expressing them.
    Good luck trying to promote justice. Seriously. But dont do so by taking cheap shots defamin. race group. It wont help. You need to be kind to people to expect their help, regardless of how much of a duty you see it. Rich people don’t. Win the hearts dont push people away.

    1. Yusuf says

      My intention here is not to paint an entire community with a single brushstroke. I was very disappointed with a lot of what I saw around me, and it’s worth a discussion.

      Lol…but the whole article is painting the entire community with a single brushstroke based on what you saw.

      Also. Nothing wrong aspiring to be rich or have a bmw. Im pretty sure you or your mates families own such vehicles. Its called progress and happiness. All humans want progress and happiness with minimal inconvenience, its the way we evolved.
      I agree however, we want to free palestine from the comfort of our smartphones, but cannot help those on our very doorstep. Thats what my job entails.
      I am not fighting you or discouraging you. I just think you unnecessarily painted a very sansational terrible picture of the south african ..or even johannesburg indian community. This is naturally going to provoke hate. And no i’m not sweeping it under the carpet. Bad parenting needs to be addressed openly, buy many hold identity to this community and have sentimental attachments to its foundations and struggles.
      Be happy at those who came to the union buildings, even if it was in their nike shoes and with their ipads. They done something they would have previously laughed down on. Baby steps. Encouraging and positive leadership has always proved to be more fruitful than being hateful and creating divisions based on an assumption of having a stronger moral compass than those around you.

  11. Fazil says

    I read with interest this article and the thread of all the comments being made. It is very clear that the writer seeks to highlight an issue which is not specific to Indian(Muslims) as Ghaleb surmises. . Racists and bigots are found in every community. Our not talking about this evil is the issue at hand.
    There is nothing wrong being materially successful if that does not blind you to the evils of bias.
    I agree that activism within this community is lethargic as long as it does not affect our comfort zones. eToyiToyi is the result!
    Ray is correct in saying that through sacrifice the majority does benefit despite temporary hardship caused to the minority ie “Labour Pains”.
    However what the writer fails to explain and I have not obtained any decent response to , is “Will these graduates then go onto charging market related prices for their services rendered in the real world or will that also be subsidised?” and ” How many of the protesting students are merely seeking a free ride on the backs of the fiscus, when they do not disclose that they attended privileged schools that at times cost much more then University fees?”
    In conclusion, I would like all the opinionistas on this page to raise the topic of Indian/Black tensions through their local associations/ mosques etc as that I believe is the elephant in the room.

  12. Nic says

    In reading this article, I saw a lot of similarities with my own experiences as a young and privileged white person in South Africa.

    At the risk of sounding self-righteous, you reach a point where you stop arguing with those in your community, because it becomes exhausting. They stubbornly refuse to have any empathy.

    1. Ana says

      You are right Nic. These guys are so defensive! Aaisha even says that she knows that not all South African Indians are privileged and that they come diverse backgrounds. And yet she is being attacked for precisely the points that matter the least. Is there a racism problem within indian community? Yes

      Such pretenders – these protectorates of the great indian middle class – who worked so hard to get where they are. Pathetic!

  13. Zak says

    There is a mistake on this post: “During apartheid, Indians were subjugated by the white regime, but were still considered superior to coloured and black people.”. Actually White’s had the 1st tier with the best education, jobs, etc.; those classified as Coloured were 2nd tier; Indians/Asians were 3rd tier and Black people were 4th tier. Freedom, pay, treatment, service, etc. depended on your tier. For some originally in my Dad’s time – for Indians there were no schools, bursaries, government jobs, etc or anything else with the possible exception of jobs that no one wanted to do. The Indian community started initiatives with slogans like 1 family 1 brick, etc. and raised money with a few wealthier people giving a lot more and started bursary schemes and the like. Family businesses were started as a joint effort as well. The classification system is also the reason up till today that people who were on a higher tier treated those on a lower tier as beneath them. In fact, if I recall correctly, there were plans when General Smuts was alive to try to integrate the Indian and black communities into one classification which Indian people did not want for fear of losing what restricted freedoms they had. This is by no means an Indian only issue – us giving but not getting – we all experience bad treatment at one time or another due to deeply instilled racial/ethnic/language/economic/class identities we have created for ourselves and the often stereotypical perceptions we have of others. We have to learn to leave aside our optic & auditory filters and judgement and look at and deal with the individual in front of us; and not look at people as simply a typical representative of a group. Ironically, according to an article Max du Preez wrote mentioned in passing that the Afrikaaner community many of whom were very poor had also banded together in a similar fashion and started industries of their own – building over time to big industries. What I’m saying is all whites did not attain solely through Apartheid privilege.

  14. Ahmed says

    The ignorance in the article is shocking. The writer first makes a huge generalisation of Indian Muslims as if all Indian Muslims are wealthy and live in Jo’burg , maybe learn Indian history and know the difference between natal and Jo’burg Indians. Majority of Indians are in natal and u don’t have the right to represent 1.5m people when u only see the upper middle class. It’s the same as privileged blacks people wanting to be the voice of the underprivileged. Doesn’t work like that. If u are wealthy and all your Indian friends are wealthy that’s your own thing and u need to reflect why it is u only have rich friends from your community. I can assure u majority of Indians as as “well-to-do” as you so ignorantly claim. And yes I can see that you corrected the generalisation you made.. but why make one in the first place? If it happened to be a white or black person making such claims it would automatically be labellled racist as it’s an offensive stereotype to say Indians dont understand the struggles of being low income citiezins. To think this is journalism. Blanket stereotypes

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