ANC still waiting for Equality Court date in Penny Sparrow matter

2016-05-03 16:59


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Cape Town – The ANC is still waiting for a hearing date at the Equality Court in KwaZulu-Natal over its hate speech complaint against Penny Sparrow.

ANC attorney Peter Williams confirmed on Tuesday that they had applied for a court date and would be informed shortly.

Sparrow described black beachgoers as "monkeys" in a Facebook post. There was public outrage after the former realtor took to Facebook in January, in an apparent reaction to litter left behind after New Year’s celebrations.

The ANC launched a complaint of hate speech against her in the Equality Court in January.

Attempts to track her down for a response since then had been unsuccessful.

In March, the court granted an order for documents to be served on Sparrow by way of "substituted service". This was after the deputy sheriff failed to track her down.

A notice of the court action was subsequently published in the classifieds section of the Sunday Times, The Mercury and The Star.

The ANC wanted the court to find that her utterances were racist and constituted hate speech.

Among the relief sought, it wanted her to pay R200 000 as compensation to an organisation which promoted non-racism, tolerance and reconciliation.

In a founding affidavit, ANC secretary-general Gwede Mantashe said there had recently been a dramatic increase in incidents of open racism and hate speech.

There had also been public outrage as a result.

He said the party had a moral and legal duty to demonstrate leadership and prevent racial conflict or warfare.

"It also needs to be indicated to society in no uncertain terms that there are appropriate institutions such as the Equality Court to deal with issues of racism and hate speech."

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