Kessie Nair, a convicted South African fraudster has been arrested over a racist rant against the country’s President, Cyril Ramaphosa on social media.
Nair is due to appear in court on charges of inciting violence and crimen injuria, or injuring a person’s dignity, police said. His family said he had mental health issues, and needed urgent medical care as racism remains a major issue in South Africa, almost 24 years after white-minority rule ended.
In a video widely shared online, Nair, who is of Indian origin, used a racially derogatory word to describe presidentRamaphosa. The president should be “charged for defrauding this nation‚ for oppressing this nation‚ for high treason‚ for being the source to all crime and violence and poor health care and poverty in this so-called true democracy,” he added.
Subsequently, police arrested Nair in Phoenix, a mainly Indian residential area in KwaZulu-Natal province, on Wednesday following outrage over his post.
The governing African National Congress (ANC) in KwaZulu-Natal condemned the video as “scurrilous”, and said Mr Nair should face the “harshest punishment” but the president’s spokesman, Khusela Diko, said Nair was “clearly a sick person and his racist rant is not deserving of any airtime”, South Africa’s TimesLive news site reported.
“His tirade against the president demonstrates delusional and attention-seeking behaviour,” Mr Diko said, before the arrest. Nair, a former councillor, was sentenced to six years in prison for fraud in 2005.