A white South African lady who described black South Africans as monkeys is facing a barrage of attacks both within and outside South Africa.
Ms. Penny Sparrow who called black people monkeys in a post on her Facebook was condemned by many on social media for making racist comments that could spark racial unrest in the country.
She used the word ‘’monkeys’’ to describe New Year’s South African merrymakers on Durban’s beach because of the mess she said they made.
It has become a tradition in Durban to go to the beach on 1 January to celebrate the New Year.
The lady has, however, took down the offensive post and replaced it with an apology.
According to News24, she tried to clarify her remarks and said “I made the mistake of comparing them [black people] with monkeys. Monkeys are cute and they’re naughty, but they [black people] don’t see it that way, but I do because I love animals.”II
Spokesperson for the South African Human Rights Commission, Isaac Mangena expressed great concern that 22 years into democracy in the country, 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.”
Mangena pointed out that the commission would investigate the matter that could lead to litigation.
Apartheid, legally enforced a racial hierarchy that privileged white South Africans but ended in 1994 with the election of the country’s first democratic government.