Models make up after racist tweets

2012-05-11 00:00

TWO models who became notorious last week after a racist Twitter spat have vowed that they will “work to get the country back to where the country was a week ago”.

Model Jessica Leandra dos Santos (20) started it all by using the k-word in a tweet to

her 2 591 followers on Twitter.

Model and marketing student Tshidi Thamana (22) hit back by saying she wished all whites had been killed when former youth leader Peter Mokaba sang “Kill the Boer”.

Yesterday the pair became “reconciled” at a breakfast hosted by Democratic Alliance spokesperson Mmusi Maimane.

Dos Santos, wearing heavy make-up, a tight pair of black jeans and a jacket, said she “wasn’t aware of the stress” her tweet had caused.

When asked about a previous tweet, in which she referred to a petrol attendant as an “African monkey”, she said: “I refer to myself as a monkey, and to my family as monkeys.”

Thamana, wearing a knee-length skirt and a jacket, said Dos Santos’s use of the k-word “really hurt me as a black person from South Africa, and from Africa as well”.

But she said she had never wished death on “anyone from any race” before, and would never do so again.

The models said they would work together on future projects, but denied their “remorse” was just a way to salvage their budding careers.

They had photographers jostling for a good shot as they shook hands and posed for pictures after the press conference.

Maimane, who originally invited the two for dinner at his Roodepoort home to talk, told journalists on his stoep after this morning’s breakfast: “It has been quite a journey for both Jess and Tshidi”.

He said he wanted to give both women “an opportunity to communicate to each other and certainly to communicate to you out there”. He had organised the breakfast as a concerned citizen and not as a publicity stunt.

“It takes all of us to uproot evil in our society. The project started by Nelson Mandela of reconciliation shouldn’t be abandoned.”

Maimane said he didn’t want his child to grow up in a racist country and that it was already difficult for him and his wife, who is white, to fill in the race section of last year’s census forms.

“But we are all part of the human race,” he added.

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