Social media racists to derail years of nation building

Government condemns the increase of racist posts on Facebook and Twitter, which hinders the progress made towards a new, democratic and transformed South Africa.

Human Rights 2017 was marred by reports of racism as South Africans were still recovering from a racially-fuelled altercation between two parents at Spur. The incident took place on Sunday, 19 March, and sparked outrage. Acting GCIS Director General, Donald Liphoko says, “It is unfortunate that such comments follow hot on the heels of the country commemorating Human Rights Day”.

Social media racists punished

Disgraced KZN realtor, Penny Sparrow, was involved in a race-row after calling black people monkeys. Sparrow claims she was “stating the facts”. She was later fined R5 000 for her racist posts on Facebook. An apologetic Sparrow says she strives to become a better person.

During 2016, Dawie Kriel (59) took to Facebook to rant about his dislike of fireworks associated with the Diwali festival. This post was racially-fuelled and Kriel was given what the ANC and DA agreed to be a “light” sentence.

Offenders should be offered racism rehabilitation to help them become better members of society. Racism is a serious offense and South African President, Jacob Zuma, says it represents one of the most despicable human rights violations.

Public must help combat racism

The public should attend workshops that deal with racism and how to respond to racists. Citizens who’ve experienced racism can open cases at local police station or through SAHRC.  The Department of Justice is finalizing the Nation Action Plan against racism and Related Intolerances.

Liphoko says,

“Those found guilty of racist utterances and acts must face the consequences of their actions”.

Government urges citizens to use social media wisely.

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