02/08/2017 17:29 SAST | Updated 02/08/2017 17:36 SAST

ANC 'Concerned About Seeds Of Racial Discord' In SA

There have been a spate of racially motivated incidents.

Ihsaan Haffejee/ Anadolu Agency/ Getty Images
Members of African National Congress (ANC) hold banners during a protest against Racism as they march to State house which includes Presidency office from Burgers park in Pretoria, South Africa on February 19, 2016.

The ANC on Wednesday expressed concern over recent "racially charged incidents" across the country, calling for intensified engagements to "close the chasm of polarisation and discontent amongst all our nation groups".

Tensions in Eldorado Park following the appointment of an African teacher "in a so-called coloured school" and complaints laid against EFF leader Julius Malema over remarks made about Indian businesspeople and families in KwaZulu-Natal are among the incidents concerning the ANC.

Malema is reported to have said Indians were "worse than Afrikaners" during his address at the party's birthday celebrations in Durban on Saturday.

He reportedly said: "This is not an anti-Indian statement, it's the truth. Indians who own shops don't pay our people, but we give them food parcels." EFF spokesperson Mbuyiseni Ndlozi on Monday said in a statement the party was unapologetic about what Malema had said.

ANC spokesperson Zizi Kodwa in a Wednesday press statement said such incidents "are an antithesis to the values upon which our liberation struggle was executed and democratic dispensation was founded".

"Incidents such as these, regardless of their genesis, serve only to undermine our nation's democratic project and deepen racial discord," he said.

Kodwa called upon Gauteng ANC leaders to intensify engagement with the community of Eldorado Park on its demands as well as for a broader discussion on "why compatriots who would have been an integral part of the majority during the struggle, seems to feel relegated to a minority in democracy".

Kodwa reiterated the ANC's commitment to non-racialism, saying it is sacrosanct and the attainment thereof "non-negotiable".