The African National Congress (ANC) condemned the blasphemous remarks of MP Muhammad Khalid Sayed about the companions of the Prophet Muhammad.

The party says comments on Saida member of the Wynberg branch of the ANC and a member of the provincial legislature, drew the ire of a large section of the Muslim community in his hometown and across the country.

“The ANC has reprimanded Cde Khalid Saeed and further notes and welcomes his apology to the Muslim community which we have insisted be made public and that such views are not only retracted but never repeated again.”

“The ANC accepts, respects and supports all religious denominations represented in our country. South Africa’s progressive constitution embraces a secular state in which all religions coexist and profess their faith in a free and democratic society,” the party said.

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Syed made the comments in a 30-minute lecture held at the Ahlul Beit Mosque in Cape Town on Sunday, August 7, under the auspices of the Ahlul Beit Foundation of South Africa (AFOSA).

The ANC MP accused the Companions of the Prophet Muhammad of being hypocritical and hiding their disbelief among other blasphemous comments during the conversation.

In his apology, Saeed said he understood the Muslim community’s anger at his comments.

“There is a wider context to the comments I made. However, after extensive consultation with my family, community, friends and comrades, I recognize that the comments I made were deeply offensive and I hereby retract my comments unconditionally.”

The ANC states that it respects and supports all religious denominations and supports the rights of the Muslim community to freely associate, particularly in the Western Cape Province, which has a significant Muslim community presence.

In a statement, the United Ulema Council of South Africa (UUCSA) said Said’s comments had deeply touched the hearts of Muslims not only locally but globally.

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