CAPE TOWN - A Cape Town woman has been fired over a racist slur, the latest in a series of recent race-related incidents rocking the country.
Nicole de Klerk - recently employed by a Cape Town based advertising and recruitment agency, The Talent Boom - called guests the K word at the Queen's Plate horse racing event on Saturday.
This incident happened during an argument over a chair, and exploded onto social media.
The Talent Boom responded rapidly by firing her and tweeting that her behaviour is unacceptable and deeply upsetting.
In light of the unacceptable recent events concerning Nicole De Klerk please see our official stance: pic.twitter.com/4JWrwt9i6N— The Talent Boom (@thetalentboom) January 10, 2016
“The Talent Boom is shocked to hear what has happened on Saturday 9th January at the Queens Plate. Nicole started at The Talent Boom on Wednesday and has been employed with us for two days,” they wrote.
“This behaviour is unacceptable and deeply upsetting. We do not condone or tolerate racist comments, behaviour or attitude in any form and with immediate effect, Nicole has been dismissed from the company.”
A Cape Town candidate attorney, Yamkela Ntola, who was one of those abused by De Klerk, has opened a case of crimen injuria against her. He would also be approaching the Human Rights Commission to investigate the incident.
Speaking to News24, Ntola said, "There was a gentleman who wanted to come and get a chair but we told him that he couldn't because one of the guys in our group was using it. Then he left and afterwards this Nicole girl came over and I assumed she was with him.
"She was using a very rude tone and she asked me what was down my leg and I had no idea what she was talking about. I asked if she knew anyone in our group and she just kept saying that. I said it was best that she leave because she was making everyone feel uncomfortable."
Ntola said things boiled over when De Klerk called a female member of his party a "k*****".
He said, "She started looking at one lady who was with us and called her a k*****. I asked her who she was calling k***** and then things became very heated and some of our group threw champagne on her.
"Security stepped in and she told the security she called us k*****s because that is what we are. I later explained to the organiser that this lady had come to us unprovoked and started causing nonsense. I heard afterwards that she had been escorted from the premises."
De Klerk has since apologised in a tweet, saying, “I beyond sorry for this behaviour it is most certainly unacceptable and I am so embarrassed. [sic]”, but the sincerity of her apology has been questioned.
Ntola responded to De Klerk's apology, saying, "I am still angry and I am shocked at the same time. I am not beyond forgiving her but it does not mean that her conduct can go without consequence, especially considering the week that we have had.
"I will pursue every avenue that is available to me. It doesn’t solve the problem that people harbour these feelings but I am not opposed to approaching her and letting her listen to me, as I will listen to her. The whole matter has left a sour taste in our mouths."
Several people used the social media space to mock the Capetonian, while others commended Talent Boom for their swift action.
I see nicole de KLERK went old school on us all. She went NP not DA. Didn't fanon say a racist in a racist society is normal?— andile (@Mngxitama) January 10, 2016
Nicole De Klerk has beaten Van Rooyen's record. Fired after 2 days. Going around calling people the K-word is so 2015. Tell all your friends— Mio & Queenie® Radio (@Mio_Queenie) January 10, 2016
Glad they dealt with Nicole de Klerk, I was there yesterday and her behavior was unacceptable. Nothing can excuse what she said— Sello (@LoloKale) January 10, 2016
Who taught Nicole De Klerk the word "Kaffirs"? At home? At school? Church? Neighbourhood? #BeRacistBeFired— Tendai Joe (@Tendaijoe) January 10, 2016
Nicole de Klerk held that job for about as long as the body can hold cheap liquor.— Ralph Williams III (@StaggaSays) January 10, 2016
One Takes a nap then there Nicole de KLERK strikes. They wearing us out with individual acts of blatant racism.— andile (@Mngxitama) January 10, 2016