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Sat May 28 15:49:56 SAST 2016

HRC to probe racist comments

TMG Digital | 04 January, 2016 18:42
Sparrow said she was appalled by the presence of Black people on beaches in KwaZulu-Natal‚ and said on Twitter that Black people “were monkeys” and were uneducated. File photo
Image by: JACKIE CLAUSEN

The Human Rights Commission said on Monday that it would launch a probe into racist comments made by various people on social media.

With outrage being expressed by people and political parties in South Africa over remarks made by estate agent Penny Sparrow‚ the issue has gone viral on Twitter and Facebook.

Sparrow said she was appalled by the presence of Black people on beaches in KwaZulu-Natal‚ and said on Twitter that Black people “were monkeys” and were uneducated.

In another incident‚ Chris Hart‚ an economist at Standard Bank‚ said on Twitter on Sunday: “More than 25 years after Apartheid ended‚ the victims are increasing along with a sense of entitlement and hatred towards minorities…”

Justin van Vuuren posted a comment on Twitter saying‚ among other things‚ that black people should be excluded from beaches.

The HRC said it had “noted with serious concern the alleged racist comments attributed to some people on social media. These include Penny Sparrows (formerly employed as an estate agent by Eskel Jawitz)‚ Chris Hart (economist employed by Standard Bank) and Justin van Vuuren.”

The HRC said it had launched an investigation into the comments‚ “and this may lead to further legal steps”.

“It is very concerning to the Commission that 22 years into democracy there are still comments and actions that incite and promote racism. These utterances have gone viral and angered many. They open the wounds of millions who were formerly oppressed by the apartheid government.”

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