We fear for our safety, says Penny Sparrow's daughter
Penny Sparrow’s daughter has broken her silence on a race row that has gripped the country.
Sparrow had taken to Facebook and described black beach-goers as "monkeys", in an apparent reaction to litter after New Year’s celebrations.
Speaking to News24, Charmaine Cowrie, who lives in Park Rynie on KwaZulu-Natals's South Coast, said that she felt completely overwhelmed and was "on her way" to a police station because she feared for her life.
"I just don’t know what to do and I don’t want to say anything because I don’t want to get into trouble," she said.
Cowrie said she had spoken to her mother, who had gone to ground after her comments went viral.
"I asked her what she was thinking and she just said that she didn’t mean anything by it and she doesn’t understand what all the fuss is about. It’s just litter, paper on the ground."
"She is a diabetic and she got very sick over this. There is a huge concern for her safety and people have sent terrible, terrible messages. She has even had death threats," she added.
"There is a huge concern for her safety and people have sent terrible, terrible messages. She has even had death threats. I want nothing to do with this."
Sparrow could not be reached for comment.
In her original post Sparrow wrote: "These monkeys that are allowed to be released on New Year’s eve and New Year’s day on to public beaches towns etc obviously have no education what so ever so to allow them loose is inviting huge dirt and troubles and discomfort to others.
"I’m sorry to say that I was amongst the revellers and all I saw were black on black skins what a shame. I do know some wonderful and thoughtful black people. This lot of monkeys just don’t want to even try. But think they can voice opinions and get their way of dear," she continued.
"From now on I shall address the blacks of South Africa as monkeys as I see the cute little wild monkeys do the same, pick and drop litter," Sparrow added.
The estate agent later deleted her post and apologised, saying she did "not mean it personally".
Jawitz Properties CEO Herschel Jawitz earlier told News24 that, while Sparrow had left the company two months ago, her online profile still associated her with their brand.
"She is an ex-employee and unfortunately she hadn’t updated her Facebook page that still reflects her as employed by Jawitz Properties," he said.
"The most important fact is that these comments are outrageous in any context and to be made publicly is unacceptable.
"Unfortunately we have been associated with her and our brand is taking the heat and they [her comments] are not in any manner or form what we stand for or what we believe in. They would not be tolerated in our company and we are a proudly South African [company]. The public anger is justified," Jawitz added.