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Sun May 29 07:53:23 CAT 2016

Kathrada Foundation compares racist social media posts to Minstrels’ woes

TMG Digital | 05 January, 2016 08:59
Isgak Omar, front, one of the eight-member Cape Town Seven Step Minstrels who represented South Africa at the Seychelles International Carnival. File photo
Image by: The Times

Inferring that “black people are like barbarians and should not be allowed onto public beaches…is similar to the Taj Hotel asking the Cape Minstrels to remain silent on their parade route because hotel clients would be ‘disturbed’ ”.

That’s the view of the Ahmed Kathrada Foundation which‚ in a statement on Monday “strongly condemns the racist comments” which trended on social media on Monday.

A storm erupted after South Coast estate agent Penny Sparrow had‚ apparently angered by the presence of black people on beaches‚ posted on Facebook: “From now I. Shall address the blacks of South Africa as monkeys as I see the cute little wild monkeys do the same pick drop and litter.”

“Many African families save for months to get to the seaside on New Year's Day‚” the foundation said.

“We must recall the struggle to open our beaches to all during the’80s and cannot pander to the views of people who seek to take us back to separate beaches and other facilities.

“There will be no going back to that era. Those who continue advocating these conservative‚ racist views must be challenged and penalised through our Equality Courts.”

The foundation suggested that “people who insist on holding onto such crudely racist views should perhaps consider moving to places where their views will be more acceptable”.

It also called on Jawitz Properties‚ for whom Sparrow worked until November‚ and Standard Bank‚ whose economist Chris Hart was suspended on Monday for comments on Twitter‚ to “act against the racists amongst their staff or associates or face being associated with their views”.

“While the foundation is concerned over social media being used by racists to spew hatred‚ it is encouraged that ordinary people have used online platforms to challenge these views and promote non-racialism‚” it added.

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