Hate speech and crimen injuria charges for Kessie Nair's racist rant

20 September 2018 - 11:05 By Suthentira Govender
Kessie Nair during his first appearance in Verulam Magistrate Court for seven counts of crimen injuria on September 20 2018
Kessie Nair during his first appearance in Verulam Magistrate Court for seven counts of crimen injuria on September 20 2018
Image: THULI DLAMINI

Convicted fraudster and former local councillor Kessie Nair is expected to appear in court on Thursday‚ following a racist social media rant he made against President Cyril Ramaphosa.

Hawks spokesman Brigadier Hangwani Mulaudzi told TimesLIVE that Nair would make a brief appearance in the Verulam Magistrate's Court in connection with inciting public violence and crimen injuria.

“The Hawks stepped in because this is regarded as a crime against the state‚” said Mulaudzi.

Kessie Nair during his first appearance in Verulam Magistrate Court for seven counts of crimen injuria on September 20 2018
Kessie Nair during his first appearance in Verulam Magistrate Court for seven counts of crimen injuria on September 20 2018
Image: THULI DLAMINI

Chatsworth community activist Brandon Pillay opened a case of hate speech and crimen injuria against Nair at the Bayview police station on Wednesday. Nair was arrested on Wednesday night.

Pillay said the video "is deeply disturbing and this kind of destructive behaviour must be stopped in its tracks."

Nair’s Facebook post and video went viral after he uploaded it on Tuesday.

Nair‚ the nephew of late struggle stalwart Billy Nair‚ has received widespread condemnation from various quarters‚ including the provincial ANC‚ community and religious organisations‚ as well as the presidency.

His family has distanced themselves from his utterances. They issued a statement urging South Africans to forgive him and promising to do their best to "make amends".

"We have a history of being in the trenches fighting apartheid and being involved in the struggle for the liberation of this country from the shackles of the nationalist government‚" said his brother Krishnan Nair.

Krishnan added that his brother suffered from a chronic illness and "needs immediate medical care and attention."

In the video‚ Nair‚ who served six years in prison for corruption‚ called for the president - whom he refers to using the k-word - to be “charged for defrauding this nation‚ for oppressing this nation‚ for high treason‚ for being the source [of] all crime and violence and poor healthcare and poverty in this so-called true democracy.”

In a written post‚ Nair says: “Let me go down in history‚ becoming the first and last man to called [sic] the number one citizen‚ the state president” the k-word.

“Achieved my goal‚ now I’m ready to die‚ for my intended message is public knowledge.

“Tuma Mena [sic] [to] Westville Prison‚” he added.

Speaking to TimesLIVE on Wednesday‚ an unapologetic Nair - who claimed he was once a member of the notorious 26s prison gang - said it was concern for the state of country that prompted his post.

Nair said he did not believe his rant would fuel tensions between Africans and Indians‚ but would rather “diffuse” them.

“I don’t think I’m being racist. I want to make a point‚ which I did. I am prepared to face the consequences. If the nation feels I was wrong‚ I will accept‚” he said.

Nair said his family‚ his daughter in particular‚ was concerned about his post. “By putting my thoughts out in the public domain‚ it will get attention.”

Asked why he decided to make the video‚ Nair responded: “I care about the nation - and Indians are soft targets.”

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