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South African President Ramaphosa urges Muslim community members to join active politics – Times of India

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JOHANNESBURG: South African President Cyril Ramaphosa has called on the members of the Muslim community, many of them of Indian origin, to join active politics like their forebears to make the country a place of equality, shared prosperity and true freedom. Ramaphosa was speaking at a huge Eid gathering in the Indian township of Laudium, near the capital Pretoria.
“It is regrettable that over the years one of our once vibrant and politically active communities has retreated into the background of our national life,” he said on Thursday.
“Much of our politics has come to be defined by internal squabbles and regrettably by racial and other forms of chauvinism. This has led to some of these communities questioning their place in South Africa today,” Ramaphosa said ahead of next month’s general elections.
He was indirectly referring to increasing concerns among minority communities such as the 1.6 million South Africans of Indian origin, who have increasingly been concerned about laws and policies on issues such as employment equality and quotas at educational institutions sidelining them in favour of the Black majority population.
Ramaphosa highlighted the role that the Muslim community had played in the freedom struggle.
“We salute the many great leaders that the Muslim community has produced – Yusuf Dadoo, Rehana Moosa, Ahmed Timol, Cissy Gool, Imam Haroon, Ahmed Kathrada, Don Mattera, Chief Justice Ismail Mahomed, Dullah Omar, the parents and sons and daughters of the Cachalia and Pahad families and many others,” he said as he made an impassioned plea to the gathering.
“Your country needs you. Your country looks upon you. Join us in rebuilding South Africa,” the president said.
He said South Africa was built through the actions of patriotic men and women of different races, classes and political affiliations.
“They were united by a common goal and it is this spirit of unity we must channel today,” the President said.
“So let us join hands to make South Africa a place of equality, shared prosperity and true freedom for all,” Ramaphosa concluded.

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