Mandla Mandela. Picture: SOWETAN
Mandla Mandela. Picture: SOWETAN

The call to exclude coloured and Indian South Africans from BEE in tenders worth more than R50m is "ill-timed‚ poorly conceived and flies in the face of the constitutional provision for redress"‚ says ANC MP Mandla Mandela.

The grandson of late former president Nelson Mandela and chief of the Mvezo Traditional Council has released a statement claiming that the proposed changes to BEE policy also contradict "the ANC’s Mangaung Resolution for radical economic transformation for all who were historically disadvantaged".

Mandela‚ who converted to Islam a few months before marrying his fourth wife‚ Rabia Clarke‚ in February last year‚ was responding to a proposal sent to the National Treasury by KwaZulu-Natal economic development MEC Sihle Zikalala in August‚ as reported in the Sunday Times. Zikalala’s proposal purportedly aims to "benefit black Africans".

The Mvezo chief minced no words in his statement condemning the idea‚ warning against "myopic revisionism" and calling the proposal "a bird-brained scheme‚ coming barely a week after Forbes released its list of the 20 wealthiest South Africans containing only two black people (incidentally‚ both African)‚ with no black people of any description ranking in the top five".

"The proposal flies in the face of the significant contribution that other sectors of the historically disadvantaged have made to the struggle for freedom‚ justice and democracy‚" Mandela continued.

"It comes two weeks after the commemoration of the murder of Imam Abdullah Haron and in the same week that the High Court delivered its verdict that Comrade Ahmed Timol was killed by the security branch of the apartheid state. How insensitive and crass can you get‚ to imply that the sacrifice of the Indian and coloured communities were somehow lesser?"

He went on to name the significant contributions to the struggle against apartheid made by several other Indian and coloured ANC members‚ including Dullah Omar‚ Imam Hasan Solomons‚ Lizzie Abrahams‚ Biebie Dawud‚ Dulcie September‚ Anton Frans‚ Fatima Meer and Amina Cachalia.

In his view‚ Mandela added‚ "those who call for the exclusion of any sector of the historically disadvantaged from the benefits of redress should be seen as spokespersons for the historically advantaged and white monopoly capital."

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