Bakkie driver 'must exorcise fear of black people' - ANC Western Cape

2017-01-19 19:14
Linda Stenekamp next to the cage. (Wilna de Klerk, Netwerk24)

Linda Stenekamp next to the cage. (Wilna de Klerk, Netwerk24)

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Cape Town - The Western Cape ANC has described an incident in which a woman was transported in a cage on the back of a bakkie in Cradock as offensive.

"The fact that [farmer Johan] Erasmus says Linda [Stenekamp] got into the cage of her free will, voluntarily, does not only exacerbate the offence but reflects this essential need to understanding the nature of racism in order to recognise and counter it," deputy provincial secretary Thandi Makasi said on Thursday.

"The ANC would like to make it categorically clear that reconciliation in this country is not going to forever depend on black people's endless patience, unoffended, and gentle with the unyielding attitudes of the other race.

"Racism is destructive. It disempowers people by devaluing their identity. It destroys community cohesion and creates divisions in society. It is the opposite of the democratic principle of equality and the right of all people to be treated fairly."

The photo of Stenekamp sitting in a cage on the back of Erasmus' bakkie circulated on social media on Thursday, upsetting people who considered the incident racist and degrading to the woman.

News24 earlier reported that Erasmus had just dropped livestock off on a farm outside Cradock when Stenekamp asked him for a lift.

He said there was no space for her in the cab, and that Stenekamp had climbed into the cage herself.

'Not blacks' job to teach humanity'

In a video circulated on Facebook by eBlockwatch, Stenekamp is interviewed by a woman who asks her to tell her version of events.

She says the "baas [boss]" had given her a lift to the garage in town as she had asked.

The interviewer tells Stenekamp to confirm that she didn't want to get in the front because "julle is gewoont agter op ry, julle like mos die wind en goeters [you people are used to sitting at the back, you people like the wind and stuff]".

Stenekamp says the man asked her if she wanted to sit in the front, but that she said no as it was hot and "we are used to sitting at the back".

She says it was her decision to sit in the cage.

Makasi said it is "not the job of black South Africans to teach their own humanity to their white peers".

"Johan Erasmus, along with those who remain blind to cruel acts of racism, must exorcise themselves of the fear of black people, they must get rid of the old stereotypes about black people, so that we can finally create this mosaic of shared experiences, overlain by diverse cultures which will reflect in mutual respect for one another, in shared neighbourhoods, social gatherings, schools, sports, and social networks that crisscross political movements and rural communities," Makasi said.

Read more on:    anc  |  port elizabeth  |  racism  |  human rights

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