Complaint of racism against Rajesh Gupta with the SAHRC

21 September 2017 - 14:35 By Claire Keeton
Rajesh Gupta. File photo.
Rajesh Gupta. File photo.

The South African Human Rights Commission confirmed on Thursday that Lawyers for Human Rights and the Ahmed Kathrada Foundation lodged a complaint of racism against Rajesh Gupta with the Gauteng office this week.

Commission spokesman Gail Smith said: “The matter is currently being assessed and thereafter the Commission‚ in line with its complaint handling procedure‚ will make a decision on how best to proceed having reviewed the substance of the complaint.”

Lawyers for Human Rights and the Ahmed Kathrada Foundation approached the ANC to lead the complaint against Gupta for allegedly “referring to his employees as monkeys and causing them much distress” but the party refused.

Requesting the ANC’s support‚ they wrote: “The ANC has taken highly commendable leadership of previous similar cases ... As you recall‚ the ANC was the complainant in the case against Penny Sparrow for use of the same racist terms as those used in this instance by Rajesh Gupta.”

But the ruling party told executive director of the foundation Neeshan Balton that they would not support the case.


The social justice organisations want the HRC to order Gupta to pay R150‚000 compensation to the two guards and R150‚000 to institutions that work against hate speech.

They also want him to tender an unconditional verbal apology‚ attend equality sensitivity training and perform community service.

The leaked Gutpa emails show that the alleged racist outburst was not isolated behaviour. They expose the Gupta family’s preferences for employing white staff as hostesses‚ butlers and spa therapists.