South Africa’s social media is abuzz with heated debate over racist remarks by Penny Sparrow, a white estate agent and Justin Van Vuuren’s comments supporting Sparrow’s racist statement.
In a Facebook post, Sparrow called black people monkeys and said: “These monkeys that are allowed to be released on New years Eve And new years day on to public beaches towns etc obviously have no education what so ever and to allow them loose is inviting huge dirt and discomfort to others.”
“I do know some wonderful thoughtful black people. This lot of monkeys just don’t want to even try…From now I. Shall address the blacks of South Africa as monkeys as I see the cute little wild monkeys do the same pick drop and litter,” she added.
In a comment which seemingly supported Sparrow’s remarks, Van Vuuren said: “There is no control over these animals! Our promenade smells like piss and shit and I hate it! The municipality need to stop this!…Go back back [sic] to where you came from and take your 13 kids with you!…”
The racist remarks have ignited debate over race relations in the “rainbow nation” and discrimination in the property and real estate sector.
These racist comments received widespread ridicule and criticism on social media. Sparrow and Van Vuuren have since apologised for their remarks.
— Eusebius McKaiser (@Eusebius) January 4, 2016
However, social media has been unrelenting and continues to call out the racism and bigotry. According to Primedia Broadcasting, JawitzProperties CEO Herschel Jawitz has since said the company is “taking steps” against former employee Sparrow over the racist Facebook remarks.
Below are some of the posts in response to Sparrow and Van Vuuren’s comments.
#PennySparrow comments are racist. They are an insult to me and to our party. We have too many of these in SA & we must criminalize these.
— Mmusi Maimane (@MmusiMaimane) January 4, 2016
— Terry Pheto (@TerryPheto) January 3, 2016
— Amanda Watson (@amandzing1) January 4, 2016
#PennySparrow to leave current economic interests intact feeds into racial supremacy & does not represent the shadow of liberation-ANC1969
— Zwelinzima Vavi (@Zwelinzima1) January 3, 2016
— James Grant (@JamesGrantZA) January 4, 2016
Source: Facebook and Twitter