Durban – The South African Hindu Dharma Sabha has launched civil cases against evangelist Simeon Bradley Chetty and Reverend Llewellyn Joseph in the Equality Court in the Chatsworth Magistrate’s Court.
The Dharma Sabha, represented by Attorney Shamin Rampersad and Associates, instituted legal proceedings in terms of section 20 of the Promotion of Equality and Prevention of Unfair Discrimination Act, 2000 (Act Number 4 of 2000).
Earlier this year, evangelist Chetty allegedly slandered Hindus inter alia as people who “worship idols, they worship other Gods”.
He also stated that “the name of Jesus is above every other name”.
He furthermore asked: “why would every religion give their life for Jesus?”.
Reverend Joseph denigrated Hinduism and insulted Hindus by associating “the fear, that curse or those spirits” with the sacred festival of Kavady.
Various individuals and professionals who are members of the Dharma Sabha contributed to two comprehensive legal documents totalling 116 pages, Dharma Sabha president Ram Maharaj said in a statement.
Head of the SA Hindu Youth Movement Vedhan Singh said: “The truth is that, at last, vulnerable minority communities are fighting for their rights. All attention will be fixed upon the courts to deliver justice. Then only will peace prevail. Our world is sustained by truth, justice and peace.”
The youth movement is among the contributors towards the two legal documents against the religious leaders.
In addition to Chetty and Joseph, the other respondents cited in the documents are the Revival Ministries church, the South African Human Rights Commission, as well as the Commission for the Promotion and Protection of the Rights of Cultural, Religious and Linguistic Communities.
Maharaj, as president of the Dharma Sabha, deposed to the founding affidavit.
According to the legal documents, the religious leaders’ statements degraded the Hindu community’s belief system and practices and also advocated religious intolerance and superiority of one religion over others; thereby constituting a flagrant violation of the Constitution of the Republic of South Africa, Act Number 108 of 1996.