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Monday, 16 March, 1998, 19:19 GMT
South African minister backs Gandhi call

The South African Transport Minister, Mac Maharaj, has said he agrees with Ela Gandhi, the grand-daughter of Mahatma Gandhi, that some ethnic Indians should apologise for their role in the apartheid system.

Mr Maharaj -- who's from an Indian background -- was responding to criticism by some Indian community leaders of comments by Miss Gandhi, who's a South African MP.

Mr Maharaj told the BBC that some of those responsible for harrassing and torturing him during the apartheid struggle were Indians.

He said they and the Indian businessmen who had profited from apartheid should apologise to promote national reconciliation.

But he added that other members of the Indian community had played an honourable role in getting rid of apartheid.

From the newsroom of the BBC World Service

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