Comedian pursues a pro-Indian agenda at the polls.

Comedian pursues a pro-Indian agenda at the polls. Image: X/ Thanasagren Moodley.

Comic campaign: Thanasagren Moodley goes pro-Indians at the polls

Comedian and independent candidate Thanasagren Moodley, running for a seat in the KwaZulu-Natal legislature.

Comedian pursues a pro-Indian agenda at the polls.

Comedian pursues a pro-Indian agenda at the polls. Image: X/ Thanasagren Moodley.

With one of the most hotly contested elections approaching next month, comedian and independent candidate Thanasagren Moodley, aiming for a seat in the KwaZulu-Natal legislature, affirmed his commitment to advocating for a pro-Indian agenda.

Independent comedian ahead of elections

Thanasagren Moodley is among ten independent candidates on the candidate roster released by the Electoral Commission of South Africa (IEC) on 27 March.

Out of these ten candidates, there’s just one vying for the regional seats in the Western Cape: the renowned activist and film director Zackie Achmat, who co-founded the Treatment Action Campaign.

Moodley, in an interview with Newzroom Afrika regarding his campaign, emphasized that the Indian community has faced marginalization, discrimination, and neglect.

Having been an activist for most of his life, Moodley began considering formally entering politics due to the pressing issues affecting the Indian community.

With his candidacy, Moodley aims to ensure that the agenda of his people is pursued, making past neglect a thing of the past.

According to IOL, reports indicate that six independent candidates have secured spots on the provincial ballot.

This marks the first occasion in South Africa where independents can compete for seats in the National Assembly and provincial legislatures.

Moodley asserts that as a comedian and a prominent figure within the Indian community, he has insight into the desires and needs of his people.

“As an influential member of society, I get to feel the situation on the ground. Being an artist and an entertainer, and a humanitarian and community activist, I have many layers,” he said.

“The Indian community in South Africa feel we have been marginalised. Our students who go to university are forced to get higher points than the other races. Nobody is saying anything,” he said.

Regarding unemployment and Black Economic Empowerment (BEE) policies, Moodley highlighted that despite Indians having a lower unemployment rate compared to black South Africans, the Indian community still faces challenges associated with these issues.

“I am not saying that Africans should not get a job. I am saying with 30 years of democracy, I am certified as black and so are my children. Clearly, from my experience when it comes to unemployment, we are told that government should only hire black South Africans. I am not against that, but there has to be some levelling of the playing fields,” he said.

Zackie Achmat turning down the cabinet seat spotlight

Zackie Achmat, who is running for a parliamentary seat, stated that he would not accept a cabinet position if offered to him following the May elections.

Achmat is an independent candidate for the upcoming general elections in the Western Cape.

According to The Citizen,The activist’s election campaign promotes establishing a “competent, ethical, and accountable” government, focusing on achieving equality, eradicating poverty, combating corruption, and addressing racism.

On Saturday, Rivonia Circle director Tessa Dooms used the social media platform X and wrote, “Hey @ZackieAchmat, I have followed your strong (and necessary) focus on being elected into parliament for oversight? Would you be open to a President inviting you to serve in cabinet? I ask this also to highlight that an independent MP qualifies to be appointed as a Minister.”

He criticised the ANC-majority-led National Assembly.

“Parliament must hear and listen to the voices of people, movements and progressive experts.

“Since 1999, our Parliament has protected and promoted the corrupt. ANC MPs cheered for a government that deliberately allowed people to become infected, ill and die of HIV-related illnesses,” he said in his post.