CAPE TOWN - The African National Congress (ANC) said on Tuesday it would lay charges of crimen injuria against racist South Africans as well as formal complaints with the South African Human Rights Commission (SAHRC).
Party national spokesman Zizi Kodwa said the ANC would lay the criminal charge at the Hillbrow police station in Johannesburg.
Simultaneously, the party would lay a formal complaint with the SAHRC who, on Monday, said it would begin investigations into racial slurs online.
These charges and complaints relate to recent remarks made by estate agent Penny Sparrow, fitness enthusiast and franchise owner Justin van Vuuren, and the now-suspended Standard Bank economist Chris Hart.
The slurs and insensitive comments disseminated by the three online included Sparrow’s description of black South Africans “monkeys”, Van Vuuren reference to them as “the scum of the nation”, and Hart saying the victims of Apartheid now had a sense of entitlement.
The ANC, along with its Youth League, joined in the mass condemnation of the three on Monday. The Youth League had also moved to lay its complaint with the SAHRC.
“The ANC, working together with the majority of the people of South Africa, has committed itself to advancing and realising the aspirations of the majority of our nation’s people to live in a non-racist, non-sexist South Africa,” said Kodwa.
“To this end, the ANC will utilise all resources at its disposal, including the courts, to ensure that the already fragile social fabric in South Africa is not torn apart by the reckless and irresponsible comments of a few individuals.”
Kodwa said that the reach of social media sites made the dissemination of racist remarks all the more concerning.
“The circulation of such bigoted comments have the potential for causing irreparable harm to the dignity and reputations of individuals and social groups,” he said.
Equally worrying, said Kodwa, was the increasing boldness of racists in the country, 21 years after democracy.
However, Kodwa said the views sparking outrage online should not be regarded as the opinions of all white South Africans.
African News Agency