Diwali celebrations come under attack


ANC Provincial secretary Super Zuma signs the charges on Dawie Kriel for his racist Diwali facebook post.
The charge was laid by both the ANC and the Democratic Alliance following hotly on the heels of the ANC’s call to report such matters to the Human Rights Commission and Equality Court.
The local Hindu community came under attack for the use of fireworks and the associated noise. Members of the community have now called for more tolerance towards their celebration following the huge onslaught of racist slurs on social media over the weekend.
By-laws approved by the South African Hindu Maha Sabha stipulated that fireworks could be discharged on October 29 and 30 from 7-10pm. Despite this, many Hindus came under fire from pet owners who took exception to the loud bangs
Among the many perpetrators of verbal abuse towards the Hindu community on social media, Durbanite Dawie Kriel remained at the centre of the scandal. Resorting to Facebook to express his fury over the fireworks, he wrote an aggressively offensive post calling Hindus “idol worshippers and devil disciples” and telling them to “p*** off back to (the) dark hole in the backwoods of India.”
ANC Provincial Secretary Super Zuma opened the charge of crimen injuria against several individuals involved in the social media war against Diwali, at the Durban Central Police Station and the Durban Equality Court on Wednesday.
DA provincial deputy leader, Mergan Chetty said the DA strongly condemned Kriel’s racist comments saying that type of language “has no place in our constitutional democracy.” He said the DA will be laying a charge of crimen injuria against Kriel and would also ask the South African Human rights Commission to investigate the matter.
President of the Midlands Hindu Society, Advocate Ranjiv Nirghan said the Hindu Community was fed up with constantly coming under attack for their practises over Diwali.
He questioned why the Hindu community had to “bear the brunt of ranting over the use of fireworks over Diwali”, when everyone turned a blind eye to fireworks over New Year’s Eve and Guy Fawkes.
ANC Moses Mabhida regional secretary Mzi Zuma expressed disgust at the manner in which the Hindu community had been targeted.
“We should be united and this onslaught of racist comments does not help our cause for social cohesion. I appeal to people to refrain from racial comments in the future because it is condemned. Not only should people be ashamed of their racist remarks, they should face the full might of the law. There is no place in this country for racists,” Zuma urged. He said that people should show respect for one another’s “religions and cultures and that “every race and culture should be accommodated.”