NRIs told to close shop in S Africa

DURBAN, S Africa, JULY 04, 2004

In an apparent case of racial discrimination against Indians in South Africa, two Indian businessmen have been warned by their Black African counterparts to close their retail shop or face consequences.

Salim Moosa and his brother-in-law Shaheem Kadwa, who have been running a shop in the Gugulethu township near Cape Town for the past three months, have been told by African businessmen that they must move out for their own good.

Moosa told reporters that they had been warned that "Indians had no business to be in the area" and they must move back to a former Indian residential area, Rylands, which was established during the apartheid era.

"We've been told they don't want Indians here because we sell things too cheap and we will put them out of business," Moosa was quoted as saying by Durban-based Sunday Tribune.

"They also told us that Nelson Mandela is an old man who doesn't know what he's talking about when it comes to tolerance and unity," he added.

He said that they had been given until Tuesday to move out or "face the consequences."

The latest anti-Indian stance by some African businessmen follows an incident in Lindley town where an Indian business family was forced to flee after their shop was looted and damaged.