Black-on-black racism: is the k-word not an insult?

16 March 2018 - 07:00 By Karyn Maughan
Investec CEO Fani Titi and former business partner Peter-Paul Ngwenya are facing off in court over a racial slur.
Investec CEO Fani Titi and former business partner Peter-Paul Ngwenya are facing off in court over a racial slur.
Image: Supplied

Is the k-word still racist when it is used by a black person?

This question is at the heart of a crimen injuria case being brought by Investec CEO Fani Titi against his erstwhile business associate Peter-Paul Ngwenya.

And it is one of the crucial areas of debate about the highly contested Prevention and Combating of Hate Crimes and Hate Speech Bill, which was approved by cabinet on Tuesday and will soon come before Parliament.

Titi and Ngwenya have been involved in a long-running business feud that resulted in Titi obtaining a Protection from Harassment Act order against Ngwenya. In what is believed to be a legal first, Titi is also pursuing a crimen injuria case against Ngwenya for sending an SMS message to himself “and others” on June 23 2016 in which he referred to Titi as a “QwaQwa k*****r”.

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